Walking and Talking

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

An upcoming marriage threatens a friendship in this sluggish slice-of-life romantic comedy. Now in their late twenties, Amelia (Catherine Keener) and Laura (Anne Heche) have been best friends since sixth grade. That changes when Laura, a therapist-in-training, becomes engaged to Frank (Todd Field). Amelia feels distanced, lonely and depressed. She goes out with Bill (Kevin Corrigan), a strange video store clerk she had been rejecting for weeks. They have sex on their second date, and Amelia worries obsessively when he doesn't call for several days. She later learns that Bill heard a phone message from Laura where he's called "the ugly guy." Amelia also struggles with her feelings towards former boyfriend Andrew (Liev Schreiber), who spends his free time watching pornographic videos and carrying on a passionate affair via long distance phone sex. Tension develops in Laura's relationship, as she has romantic fantasies about a client and is upset about a suspicious mole on Frank's shoulder that he won't get checked. WALKING AND TALKING is a very sincere film, showing some personal struggles that people face in their relationships. While these incidents are portrayed in realistic fashion, however, they aren't always terribly interesting. If one can't identify with the characters, the film rapidly becomes boring.

WALKING AND TALKING has a casual attitude towards sex, although nearly all of the activity is implied. Amelia has implied sex with Bill as an antidote for loneliness. She and Andrew discuss his phone sex relationship and later end up going to bed together. Amelia also receives two brief obscene phone calls where sexually suggestive remarks are heard. Frank surprises Laura with an engagement ring hidden inside her diaphragm container. Later he tries to initiate sex with Laura, kissing her and fondling her breasts while she's still clothed. But she's more interested in discussing how their sexual routine has become predictable. The characters are also loose with their tongues, with over three dozen regular and exclamatory profanities and many obscenities making their way into the dialogue. Discerning viewers will not enjoy watching the immoral lifestyles depicted favorably in this film.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perrry
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (28) times - F-word 19, s-word 5, other 4

Profanity: Many (37) times - Regular 16 (G 11, J 3, JC 2), Exclamatory 21

Violence: None

Sex: Implied twice (unmarried couples)

Nudity: None; Near nudity (couple unclothed under blanket, unclothed woman covers herself with pillow, man and woman in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Man talks about having phone sex; 2 obscene phone calls with sexually suggestive comments heard; implied that woman helps man urinate; therapist fantasizes about kissing patient; man fondles clothed woman's breasts; woman talks about sexual routine

Drugs: Alcohol drinking, marijuana smoking

Other: Young girls shown reading

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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