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24 Nights (PG-13)
Cynical Boy Productions

Official Site

Director: Kieran Turner

Producer: Kieran Turner

Written by: Kieran Turner

Cast: Aida Turturro, Kevin Isola, Stephen Mailer, David Burtka, Mary Louise Wilson, Mary Stout, Robert Bogue, John Rothman

Rating: out of 5

We now live in a world where practically everyone wants to make a movie and where digital video and home computers make DIY filmmaking affordable for many. While appreciating that more voices can be heard and more creative visions shared, we've all seen some homegrown duds.

I am pleased, therefore, to be able to recommend one 24 NIGHTS. It was a genuine pleasure. It was fun as an evening's entertainment, fun as a holiday movie, and fun as a window into one man's heart.

24 NIGHTS is the story of Jonathan, a twenty-something bookstore clerk who writes Santa and asks for his dream man for Christmas-a cutie with a great smile and a sweet Southern drawl. Well guess what walks into the bookstore the next day? But the path to true love can't be that smooth, or where's your story? We count down the shopping days 'til Christmas as Jonathan's wild ride with romance leads to confusion, drugs, smart-talk, well-meaning but embarrassing relatives, and emotional yo-yoing. You'll figure out who pairs off way before the characters get wise to themselves, but this ain't no murder mystery, it's a romantic comedy.

The movie does have its flaws, notably cinematography. It looks pretty bad, but like Mama says, looks aren't everything. And there's James, an acerbic character of the Eve Arden mold who is Jonathan's co-worker (though late in the movie, there's a satisfying take on this ubiquitous type).

But these are tiny compared to the film's many good points: great comic acting by Turturro and Wilson as the women in Jonathan's extended family; a family dynamic that makes the clan in HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS look positively staid; many cute guys to look at; some very funny scenes, particularly the Pepe le Pew theory of love and "45 poker"; and a story by a thoroughgoing romantic.

I saw 24 NIGHTS at a screening sponsored by the Austin Gay/Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF). It's not yet at a theater near you, but it could be if you ask about it at your local independent movie house. And you should. You want to encourage this kind of filmmaking.

-Roxanne Bogucka, an Action Grrl!

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

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