Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Lifetime Burning

Photo: James Leynse

The concept is intriguing: Tess (Christina Kirk) opens the New York Times one morning and discovers that her sister Emma (Jennifer Westfeldt) has published a memoir in which she claims, untruthfully, to be part Incan and part Cherokee. When Tess confronts Emma, the conversation bounces from the memoir to their relationship and back again, but, unfortunately, never gets anywhere interesting. The direction (Pam MacKinnon) and writing (Cusi Cram) offer little that is thought-provoking or new and instead rely on "family dynamics 101" and the occasional funny line. Isabel Keating, in a very entertaining turn as Emma's editor, manages to bring more depth to her two-dimensional character than the others bring to their ostensibly complex ones. And if we are to believe this story at all, if we are to believe that Emma's clearly intelligent editor buys that Emma is of part-Incan-Cherokee heritage, it would be nice to cast someone not blond and not so light-skinned.

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