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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Strange love triangle in St. Louis - TEXAS SNOW review

The heart can certainly be a lonely hunter, and unfortunately for a couple of characters in Aaron Coffman's new drama Texas Snow, the heart can also be easily misled, and confused, and overwhelmed, and drive a person to move to Maine and live in an eco-commune in order to escape from the ever present scars of a recent romantic disappointment. Granted, living in an eco-commune in Maine is probably not that bad for you, might even be a very good thing - certainly good for the environment, and perhaps the ideal thing a guy needs in order to recover after being rejected for marriage. Here's the Texas Snow story in bold strokes: girl (Caroline, played by Julia Rust) was dating guy 1 (Lee, played by Ryan Shields), guy 1 thought the girl wanted to get married, he proposed, got rejected, now girl and guy 1 are friends, guy 2 (Jesse, played by John Gregory Willard) is sharing an apartment with guy 1, girl is secretly dating guy 2, and, of course, complications ensue. This is not a story told primarily through dialogue, instead it is a very cinematic event where beautiful photography (by Keith Hueffmeier), music (by Keegan DeWitt, composer for Dance Party, USA & Quiet City), editing, an expertly maintained pace, and just the right tone slowly envelop you and place you inside the sunlit but slightly off-kilter world of three St. Louis twenty somethings. Unlike several recent digital video dramas about the romantic lives of twenty somethings - yes, some Mumblecore movies - Texas Snow seems to be working with a well developed script, and I did not feel any false notes in any of the key areas of craft; well acted, well directed, shot & scored well - altogether a well made ultra-low budget debut feature, one that probably cannot be improved much even with a bigger budget - in the end the film feels just right. Highly recommended for those who can withstand being reminded of the lows and highs of young love.

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