Earnest and cute, this essential '90s rom-com has Eric Stoltz going gaga over an enchanting Mary-Louise Parker, here in perhaps the least cynical role of her career. The story borders on irrelevance: They're New Yorkers who dabble in the theater, quickly hook up, then question whether they are truly meant for each other. It's all told in flashback as Stoltz drives his car en route to... where? Like I said, very cute, but some may find it cloying.
Quirky doesn't even begin to describe The Music of Chance, based on a Paul Auster novel and directed by Philip Haas (Up at the Villa). It all starts simply enough: Two men (James Spader and Mandy Patinkin) lose a poker game and decide to sell themselves into indentured servitude, building a rock wall for Charles Durning, in order to settle the bets. Patinkin sings, Spader gets beaten up and sports a mustache, the two learn a bizarre lesson about, er, something. Strangely compelling, it's hard not to get sucked into this one, even if you can't figure out why.