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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Purple Violets

    There is no doubt that offering a film exclusively on iTunes is a smart business and marketing plan. It is just one more push ahead into the future of distribution options and technological advances. Independent filmmakers will especially benefit because there are no extra fees to enter the festival circuits or major studios to contend with.

    ‘Purple Violets’ is the latest project from Edward Burns. He has received praise from his past directorial works — ‘The Brothers McMullen,’ ‘She’s the One,’ and ‘Sidewalks of New York’ — and little acknowledgement for what he only acted in.

    ‘Purple Violets’ was supposed to be a return to his intellect but instead of originality it is crossing over the line to clich’eacute; conventions and an unaffecting plot.

    The good memories and unresolved issues between two college ex-couples are played out in the same manner as if they had been high school classmates. And just like any other love obstacle story, there are factors that prevent their immediate romantic reunions.

    Patti, played by Selma Blair, and Brian, played by Patrick Wilson, are writers who have not achieved their career expectations. Patti had received unanimous applause but no sales for her book, has become a real estate agent to make money, and is married to a man completely wrong for her. Brian has written a successful detective series but fails his first attempt at true Literature, and is dating an immature drama queen.

    Kate, a teacher played by Debra Messing, and Michael, a lawyer played by Burns, dated, but due to a misunderstanding of him cheating on her they broke up and don’t seem to have had their own serious relationships since. Patti and Brian easily rekindle their love while it take much longer to even talk face to face.

    While Patti and Kate are celebrating Kate’s 33rd birthday, they see Michael, Brian, and his girlfriend at the other side of the restaurant. They all notice each other, wonder what to do next, and Brian decides to go over. Some time later Patti and Michael bump into each other and she agrees to find him a new apartment. It is this platonic pairing that sets themselves up with their respective exes.

    Selma Blair, Debra Messing, Patrick Wilson, and Burns are well known enough to promote the film and their acting talents give stable performances. The only casting complaint is Donal Logue as Patti’s husband for his pitiful attempt at a fake English accent.

    The costume designer is very deserving of recognition for perfectly choosing the best of NYC style wardrobes. A nagging problem is Patti and Brian constantly complimenting each other’s writing but there are no clear excerpts from their works to prove how good they are. Burns also might have lost his own touch at writing; conversations between characters are poor and vague.

    Perhaps why ‘Violets’ is different from ‘Sidewalks’ is the large ensemble stories of the latter: there are so many different relationships that by switching between them there was a concentration when each time featured and not realizing the absences. But by focusing only on two couples, each path must be stretched out and the writing flaws are more noticeable.

    The smartest decision he made regarding ‘Purple Violets’ was not the movie itself but putting it on iTunes, leading the way for a new method of distribution. Although not worth purchasing, doing so means entering a future of more possibilities.

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