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Need You Closer: Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “Easier with Practice”

Need You Closer: Kyle Patrick Alvarez's "Easier with Practice"

We needed another delicate, comedy-tinged American independent drama about a socially awkward, emotionally stunted creative guy who has a hard time communicating with girls like a hole in the head. At the very least, what immediately sets the new film Easier with Practice apart from many recent installments in this ever-ready subgenre is that first-time director Kyle Patrick Alvarez knows where to point a camera. As overly self-aware and photo-album-ready as much of the film’s shots are, especially in its opening moments, it’s clear that we’re in the hands of a genuine moviemaker. Unfortunately it takes a little digging to get past the received indie mannerisms (disaffected people in frozen tableaux of American nowheresville) to find approximations of recognizable human behavior in the film, an adaptation of a fact-based short story about a passive young writer, Davey (Brian Geraghty), who begins a phone-sex relationship with a woman who one night randomly calls his motel room while he’s on a book-reading tour of the American Southwest. Read Michael Koresky’s review of Easier with Practice.

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