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A look at TRY SEVENTEEN with Elijah Wood and Franka Potente!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with the latest giant epic to star Elijah Wood... um, oh wait, this is a drama with romance and all that jazz. There is no orcs or Uruk Hai and surely you can blame the filmmakers for not including their talents and discriminating against them just because they didn't "Traditionally" have a place in this type of film... hehehe... Here we have the Lovely Rita writing about her thoughts after watching it twice during this year's Toronto Film Festival!!!

I saw Elijah Wood and Franka Potente’s new movie, “Try Seventeen,” twice at the Toronto International Film Festival and would like to share my thoughts with you. First, I went in with pretty low expectations. Sure, I’m a big LOTR/Elijah Wood/ Franka Potente fan, but the director is an unknown (Jeffrey Porter), and nobody, but nobody was writing about this film in their festival previews. It wasn’t even on anyone’s “avoid at all costs” lists. Plus, the thought of a film with Mandy Moore was too terrifying for words. But, Elijah Wood was due to appear, and who knows if it will ever make it to general release, so I went.

The crowd was full of fans, of course. The Potente/Moore fans were left disappointed as both ladies were a no-show, but Wood and Porter (and other supporting cast members) did come. Alas, no Deborah Harry in sight. But the audience was ready to laugh and enjoy, and surprise, surprise, we did laugh and enjoy!

Brief plot summary: Dylan Jones (Wood) is a 17 year old college drop-out who learns about life and love as a boarder in a large house somewhere in Kansas. Romantic entanglements come from fellow boarders Jane (Potente) and Lisa (Moore).

But my reflections are really based on the second showing, where the audience was more discriminating (a Thursday afternoon, and no stars, just Jeffrey Porter) and the sound system was clearer. It’s a good movie. It’s a light, romantic coming-of-age picture with enough substance to be worth a second viewing. In fact, things that didn’t seem to work the first time around did the second. Case in point: Mandy Moore. At the first viewing all I could think was, why didn’t they hire a real actress for this part. But on Thursday I decided that Moore acquitted herself pretty well. Sure, she’s irritating, but she’s supposed to be.

Elijah Wood and Franka Potente were both excellent (no surprise there). Some may, however, be surprised at the on-screen chemistry between these two. It was hot! No nudity, (unless you count Elijah Wood’s chest) but lots of meaningful looks and deep kisses. Despite the age and height difference, it’s easy to accept that there is something happening between them. Elizabeth Perkins is superb as Elijah Wood’s mother (a role she also had many years ago in “Avalon”). And downstairs neighbour Brad, played by Aaron Pearl, is a hoot.

A lot of this, of course, has to do with the quality of the writing. The dialogue is crisp, the characters are well-drawn, and the jokes are funny (except for one groaner early on).

I hope Jeffrey Porter left the festival with a distribution deal in hand. This film certainly deserves better than straight-to-video.

Lovely Rita

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