Two Ninas Movie Review

Modern romantic comedies typically fall into one of two traps: either they degenerate into teen/Gen-X pap dominated by boy band music a la Summer Catch, or they are designed to play to jaded, middle-aged women a la The Love Letter.

Two Ninas happily takes a middle ground, presenting a thoughtful story without a lot of raunch, without a saccharine, everything-coming-up-roses sentimentality, and without that obnoxious soundtrack. Sure, it's no Kicking and Screaming (though Cara Buono, who appeared in that film, has a little gag in Two Ninas about how she likes that movie), but it's a solid and remarkably enjoyable comic diversion that deserves a bigger audience than it will ultimately get.

The film centers on a poor guy named Marty (Ron Livingston), one of those struggling New York writers incapable of getting his break and unlucky in life and love -- until by chance he ends up in the arms of two lovely women, both named Nina (Cara Buono and Amanda Peet), and he decides to surreptitiously date them both. Buono's Nina is fiesty and opinionated, but shares nearly all of Marty's passions. Peet's Nina is, near as I can tell, wild in the sack. Who will Marty end up with? Or will the two Ninas learn of Marty's duplicity?

The answers are pretty obvious, though I won't go out of my way to expose them. Ultimately, Two Ninas' visible flaws come from its predictability, its lack of development in Peet's character, a slow beginning, and an annoying narration conceit, courtesy of Bray Poor (yes, that's someone's name), who plays Marty's trusting best friend.

Despite all that, the movie is quite enjoyable, thanks to the fun chemistry between Livingston and Buono -- a talented up-and-comer who I'd love to see more of.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , E. Greg Scheinman

Comments

Two Ninas Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 1999

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