The film, all of which takes place in the tight confines of 30-ish photographer Eric's (Michael Urie) downtown apartment, successfully conveys how easy it is to feel trapped in the limited space that the typical New York apartment provides. Sometimes when a script moves from stage to screen the results can feel claustrophobic. In this case it works well.
Eric is hunting for a new roommate, and he's amazed that even though he placed his ad the day before the attacks, apartment hunters are flocking to his Soho door just two and three days later. Don't they realize the world is ending?
Eric is alternately entertained, scared, and baffled by the parade of people who come by to check out the $1,000 per month spare bedroom, all of whom seem instantly drawn to the big window where the view of the World Trade Center is no more. (Like many New Yorkers, Eric has placed a small American flag in the window.)
First comes a new arrival to the city, a fussy but friendly assistant concierge from London. He's followed by an Iggy Pop lookalike who is far too wired and eager to talk about his experiences just blocks from the towers on 9/11 to win over the placid and fragile Eric.
In fact, Eric is dangerously on edge, suffering from a recent breakup with his boyfriend, worried about the roommate situation, and generally unraveled by recent events. He has developed crushing panic attacks whenever he hears a siren or a low-flying plane. Encouraging words from his feisty female friend Josie (Liz Kapplow) help a bit. Her story of being humiliated by her drunken husband at a dinner party when he tells their friends that she went ahead with a hair appointment after the second tower fell is a very real moment, capturing the confusion of that day.
Two more visitors trouble Eric. First comes Alex (Nick Potenzieri), who, in a gripping monologue several minutes long, describes his escape from the north tower. And then comes Max, (Jay Gillespie), a high-on-life NYU junior who visualizes world peace and knows for sure that everything would be alright if only governments would listen to students "like they did back in the '60s." This is too much for the shattered Eric. Will he ever find a roommate or if not, a way out of this haunted apartment?
It's Urie who holds the movie together, growing more disheveled and skittish as scene follows scene. You can feel his insomnia, his hypersensitivity, his neediness, his struggle to keep a hold on his sense of humor even as he's losing his grip. He's the perfect choice for the role, a person who's struggling to be good in a world he sees as hopelessly bad. That struggle is driving him slowly insane.
Try opening the shades.
Run time: 102 mins
In Theaters: Sunday 5th June 2005
Distributed by: TLA Releasing
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Director: Brian Sloan
Producer: Robert Aherns, Brian Sloan
Screenwriter: Brian Sloan
Also starring: Michael Urie
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