SHOW ME (Cassandra Nicolaou). 97 minutes. Opens Friday (August 19) at Canada Square. For times, see page 90. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Cassandra Nicolaou's Interviews With My Next Girlfriend remains one of the funniest short films around. Too bad some of that humour didn't make it into Show Me , her earnest and derivative - if nicely photographed - feature debut.
Michelle Nolden plays Sarah, a coolly elegant T.O. illustrator who's having a bad day. Not only is partner Sam stuck in business meetings, jeopardizing their 10th anniversary celebrations up north, but Sarah, in a traffic jam, suddenly gets carjacked by squeegee kids Jenna ( Katharine Isabelle ) and Jackson ( Kett Turton ).
Soon Sarah is tied up in her recently purchased cottage while the angry, bilingual pair rifle through her credit cards and aim her video camera at her, demanding... what, exactly?
One of the script's problems is that, like the two misfits, it doesn't really know where it wants to go or what it wants to do. Lovely shots of glistening lakes and tree-filled vistas only go so far.
Nicolaou's best at withholding information from us - the title seems an intentional tease. So it takes some time before we figure out Jenna and Jackson's strained relationship. And Sam remains an enigma in more ways than one.
It's fascinating to watch Sarah using her feminine wiles to bargain, first with Jackson and then with Jenna. The three deliver restrained performances, but I wish there were more subtext. Some of the developments, especially in the second half, seem vague. If Sarah comes to a conclusion about these kids or about her relationship, it's never clear, despite what she tells us in a voice-over.
Moody ambience is well and good, but remember, the phrase "psychological thriller" does contain the word "logic."