Jack Stanton
Created by Edward Burns

"I do it the old-fashioned way -- the way Bogart did it."
-- you may say Jack's a dreamer, but he's not the only one.

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?

Nobody does the working class streets (and sidewalks) of New Yawk better than writer/director Edward Burns. Or nails with such precision the ways love -- and its loss -- can really fuck up your life.

And there's no better proof of that than Looking for Kitty, a quirky, bittersweet little 2004 character study that owes at least as much to Woody Allen and The Odd Couple as it does to Mike Hammer and Matt Scudder.

Goody-two-shoes upstate high school softball ball coach Abe Fiannico (played by Numb3rs' David Krumholtz) is utterly devastated. His beloved wife Kitty has lit out for parts unknown. Increasingly desparate, he hires cranky, cynical small-time New York private eye JACK STANTON (Edward Burns himself) to find her, and then convinces the detective to let him accompany him on the case.

But there's plenty Abe isn't telling, and brash, would-be tough guy Jack seems too preoccupied to notice -- at first.

Of course, it's not the case that's actually the focus of this flick but the growing relationship between the two men. Not that this is some dick-swinging Lethal Weapon-type buddy flick.

Nope, Burns is, as usual, after something more subtle and more universal than that.At first the two men seem like polar opposites but eventually it dawns on them that they have much more in common than they realize -- or would like: namely, that they're both solitary, compulsive men, almost compulsively bound by habits and still in love with wives who have left them. Abe's wife has ran off with an aging second-string British rock star, but Jack's has really gone away -- she's dead. And his own life, personal and professional, has been circling the drain ever since. His exasperated but sympathetic boss has thrown him this one last case.

There's heartache spoken here, and Burns brings it all home with poignancy and wit, capturing every detail and nuance -- the quiet, understated scene in which Jack wakes up to yet another day in an empty bed is a killer.

But ultimately, this charming low key indie flick isn't the downer it may seem -- it's about learning to let go and moving on.

Recommended.

FILM

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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