Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ore, or Or


Duncan Pflaster's tale is essentially a classic love triangle, with the beefy Calvin Kanayama (E. Calvin Ahn) at the apex. He seems to love his new girlfriend, down-to-earth Debbie (Elizabeth Erwin), but lusts after the lithe and forward Tara (Clara Barton Green). Along the way he bonds with Sean (Shawn McLaughlin), Debbie's gay roommate, who, through no fault of his own, suffers from knowing more than he wants to about his friends' love lives. In creating a supportive and single "gay best friend," Mr. Pflaster flirts with cultural stereotype, but comes out pure, as Sean flowers into the most likable and vivid character of all. The action skips deftly through one seriocomic situation after another, as the mostly solid cast has fun with video games, food poisoning, Star Trek, and Sean's adventures as a substitute teacher. Periodically, a gong and some evocative shakuhachi music divert us into one of Calvin's dreams, inspired by the legends of Yamashita's treasure. This sub-theme is an appealing, ornate framing device, though perhaps not totally necessary, as the imperfect, realistically rough-edged New Yorkers living their laughing, heartbreaking lives in front of us are intriguing enough by their plain selves.

No comments: