Love, Ludlow

             Love, Ludlow premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and then went on the festival
     circuit before debuting on DVD. It's a sweet little movie that is not without charm, but on occasion it
     betrays its stage origins. Screenwriter David Patterson has adapted his play
Finger Painting in a Murphy
. The film traces the on-again, off-again, on-again relationship between Myra (Alicia Goranson), a
     tough-talking female temp worker from Queens, and Reggie (David Eigenberg), a shy co-worker who
     appears to have self-esteem issues. The potential spoiler to the budding romance is Myra's oddball
     brother Ludlow (Brendan Sexton III), whose "problems" are never clearly defined in the script.
     Ludlow is clearly intelligent -- he can quote Shakespeare and other poets -- but he appears mentally
     disabled in some fashion, often acting like a petulant five year old.

             Since Myra is Ludlow's only relative, she has willingly sacrificed her life to care for him, despite
     his trying her patience. When Reggie works up the courage to ask her out, she eventually says yes.
     When Reggie shows up at for the date, Ludlow does everything he can to discourage his sister's
     suitor. It's sort of an inverse version of
THE GLASS MENAGERIE without the overbearing mother.
     And unlike Williams' Gentleman Caller, Reggie actually has feelings for Myra. So, Reggie sets out
     to win Ludlow's approval. There's a somewhat contrived scene that results in Reggie having to spend
     the night, and there's also the requisite sequence where Ludlow disappears, causing his sister to reconsider
     her decision to try to have a life of her own.

             What holds the audience's interest are the lead performances. Goranson, who first rose to fame
     as eldest daughter Becky on the TV series Roseanne and who has subsequently honed her craft on
     stage, crafts a strong performance as Myra. From her first appearance, it is clear that Myra is a wounded
     soul, but one whose tough-talking exterior hides a more sensitive side. She deftly displays both sides
     of the character and makes the viewer care about her dilemma. Eigenberg, who is perhaps best recalled
     as Miranda's significant other on Sex and the City, matches Goranson. They perfectly complement one
     another and their budding romance is rather believable. Sexton, who has been away from the screen
     for a bit and who has matured into a handsome man with leading man potential, perhaps the most
     difficult role. Ludlow's "illness" isn't really defined and in lesser hands the character could have devolved
     into someone too cutesy. Sexton brings a refreshing originality to the role and meshes nicely with

 Love, Ludlow marks the feature directorial debut of Adrienne J.Weiss who exhibits promise.
     The film has its charms and meets its ambitions, even if it does sometimes feel too stagey.

                                   Rating:                    B -
                                   MPAA Rating:        R  for some language including sexual references
                                   Running time:           86 mins.

                                                           Viewed on DVD
©  2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.