5 February 2006 | gradyharp
Alienation in Many Guises
First time screenwriter David Patterson adapted his own play 'Finger Painting in a Murphy Bed' for the film LOVE, LUDLOW making the onus of the success of the film rest heavily on his shoulders. Fortunately the producers found first-time director Adrienne J. Weiss who has capably transformed a delicate triangle into a solid little comedy. If polish is lacking in the final product it can easily be forgiven by the fact that this is a new venture.
A three character story, each of the three people we get to know is borderline functional in their approach to life and the world at large. Myra (Alicia Goranson) is a hard working office temp but is socially crippled by the fact that she is the caretaker for her bipolar brother Ludlow (Brendan Sexton III) who is confined to their tiny apartment and demands every ounce of Myra's attention. At work, love starved but socially anxious Myra meets Reggie (David Eigenberg), a gentle naive soul who has never been in any type of relationship. The two socially inept people find 'something that is missing' in their lives, but when Myra faces the fact that she is confined to quarters due to the obligation compulsive Ludlow's care and when Reggie meets Ludlow and realizes Myra is unable to move out of her life space due to Ludlow's childlike tantrums and demands, the strange trio's compatibility is challenged and the method in which the three cope with the big decisions in their lives is the resolution of the movie.
The dialogue is sharp but more in keeping with a stage drama than a film: there is a lack of flow, which is not the fault of the editors or the cinematographer or the director. The script is stage bound. But given that fact, this is a modern comedy, funny at times, aching at times, but always reflecting the innate humor in even the saddest of human lives. The trio of leads gives fine performances as do the supporting cast members. In a year where sibling dysfunction is one of the topics du jour, LOVE, LUDLOW holds up well in the competition. Grady Harp