With this debut film, nominated for a prestigious Independent Spirit Award as Best First Feature, writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez has fashioned a brilliantly nuanced and superbly written comedy-drama that explores in affecting, often humorous and deep emotional honesty the multilayered complexities of sex, love and relationships. Starring acclaimed newcomer Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker, We Are Marshall) in a breakout, star-making performance, Easier with Practice tells the touching and provocative story of Davy, a 28-year-old writer on a road trip to promote his unpublished collection of short stories. A random phone call in Davy’s motel room from a mysterious, sexy woman named Nicole leads to a series of phone sex sessions that surprisingly over time become emotionally and sexually satisfying for the shy writer. Later, when he meets a former girlfriend, he must try to choose between them – but only if he can arrange a meeting with his reclusive phone mate.
It is the summer of 1971. Dr. Philip Zimbardo launches a study on the psychology of imprisonment. Twenty-four male undergraduates are randomly assigned to be either a guard or a prisoner. Set in a simulated jail, the project unfolds. The participants rapidly embody their roles—the guards become power hungry and sadistic while the prisoners, subject to degradation, strategize as underdogs. It soon becomes clear that, as Zimbardo and team monitor the escalation of action through surveillance cameras, they are not fully aware of how they too have become part of the experiment. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]