On her first night in New York City, Jennifer (Gillian Visco) finds herself locked out of her friend Christine’s (Fiona Graham) apartment while she’s stuck at work. With nowhere to go, Jen heads to a local bar and chats with bartender Todd (Andrew Ruth). After a few hours of flirting, the pair head out into the city and Jen spends the night with Todd. Two years later, Jen is now dating Ethan (Andrew Leland Rogers), with her one night stand a memory until Todd winds up becoming Ethan’s roommate after Jen turns down the offer to live together. Feelings between Jen and Todd start up again, and Jen struggles with a decision she knows she’ll have to make, but doesn’t really want to.
Directed by Jeffrey P. Nesker, and written by Tom Wilton, Elsewhere, NY is an awkward and uncomfortable love story with few characters to cheer for. While there’s nothing really wrong with Jen and Todd having feelings for each other, even if Jen happens to be with Ethan, it’s the way they go about dealing with those feelings that becomes a problem. The film feels too selfish for its own good, with characters only really thinking of themselves before they do anything else. Can you really hope for the best when every character seems willing to break another’s heart to get it?
Things like this happen all the time though, and perhaps it’s my urge to escape from life while watching a movie that taints my overall view. The performances are well done, and the film is shot in a very close, intimate style, frequently feeling as if we’re spying on the characters. The story is true to life, which is often filled with heartbreak and difficult decisions, but even with all these things working for the film, the actions of each person makes it hard to really enjoy.
It’s not hard to see what will happen, although the final outcome isn’t quite as clear, and Elsewhere, NY wastes no time getting to the love triangle that exists. It’s just too bad that there isn’t really one person to throw your support behind. Even Ethan, who plays the victim for most of the film, winds up being a character with a total lack of self esteem that you want to shake. How happy can an ending be when you have to create sadness to get there?
Is Elsewhere, NY opening weekend worthy?
The performances are well done and the film is shot in a wonderfully intimate style, but there’s nothing here to call it an essential experience. This would be better for a quiet night at home.
Elsewhere, NY opens Friday, April 21, 2017 at Carlton Cinema. Check their website for more information.