Walking and Talking (1996) Poster

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10/10
One of the best films of the 1990's
Jared X17 November 1999
I have seen Walking and Talking several times, and am continually impressed with Nicole Holofcener's writing and directing. These characters really act as if they are best friends. One great accomplishment of this film is that it is about everyday events which are transformed into having importance because we see the characters giving them importance, without it being heavy-handed. Another is the dialogue: these people are comfortable being cynical with each other, without being mean spirited. This is a small film with a big heart.
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8/10
Friends
jotix1008 December 2005
Some relationships between childhood friends endure the passage of time, as it's the case with Laura and Amelia, who as the film opens are seen as young girls. After some years they have met again as adults and their friendship has a different kind of meaning to both, if anything it is stronger than before. Whereas Amelia has found love and is graduating for a professional career as a therapist, Laura, on the oder hand, has found a job in a newspaper, but her love life leaves a lot to be desired.

Nicole Holofcener, the director, takes us to meet these two women as they go through their lives in present day Manhattan. Having seen this film when it made its commercial debut, we decided to take another look after almost ten years of being released and we can report the film is still fresh and quirky as when we first saw it. The director, whose "Lovely and Amazing" was also a worthy successor, treats her subjects with a light touch and the result is a film that gives the viewer a good insight about human relations in a cinematic form.

The best thing going for the film is lovely Catherine Keener, who is an asset no matter what she is playing. Ms. Keener seems to be a natural for the movies. The camera loves this actress who has a style of her own and who, in comedies such as this, makes perfect sense as her directors clearly capitalize on her uncanny sense of how to play the quirky characters in which she has excelled.

Anne Heche, on the other hand, makes a perfect Amelia come true. Ms. Heche is a good actress that always brings something to the roles she plays. Amelia, the young woman in this film, is at a point in her life where she has to make decisions about her relationship with Frank, who clearly adores her, and her own career as a therapist.

The supporting roles are basically the men in the two friends' lives. There is Frank, who is living with Amelia. He wants her to commit and marry him, but she has doubts before she says yes. Todd Field makes a good impression as Frank. Bill, the video store clerk likes Laura, but feels betrayed when he hears a message Amelia has left on the answering machine where she calls him ugly; he takes offense and decides to drop Laura. Kevin Corrigan is perfect playing this man. Finally there is Andrew, an old flame of Laura's who has broken up with her some time ago, but has remained friends. Liev Schreiber is good in this part.

"Walking and Talking" shows a talented Nicole Holofcener at her best. The film shows us a director who knows a lot about the complicated balance of the relationship between two caring friends.
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Low-key but enjoyable.
lostintwinpeaks16 August 2001
A lovely little movie, with fine performances, a real feel-good indie movie. Catherine Keener (so vastly different in "Being John Malkovich"!) is wonderful, playing the insecurities of her character to great effect (the scene where she stalks the video store clerk is fabulous, as is her reluctance to put her cat down). Anne Heche is - as always - on great form; and Liev S is very good too. A lovely little movie, often a little too low-key for its own good. It never demands too much from the viewer and as a result reaps all the awards. Recommended viewing. Enjoy!
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9/10
So much better than "Friends with Money" or trite romantic comedy....
MarieGabrielle3 October 2006
this is what audiences need to see more of. Good characterization, realistic dialog (no slap-stick cheap tricks, farce etc.) and capable actors.

I have seen "Friends With Money" which was a disappointment compared to this and "Lovely and Amazing". This film succeeds because we care about the characters, Anne Heche as the therapist, trying to control her wedding, Catherine Keener as confused and disappointed single again friend. Andrew and Laura (Schreiber and Keener), Frank and Amelia,(Ann Heche and Todd Field) two couples just trying to make things work. They have to find humor in minor things. Kevin Corrigan adds humor as Keener's sometime date, who finds out he is referred to as the "ugly guy".

Liev Schreiber adds a good element to the film. Keener's former boyfriend, he is there for her, even as she pursues Corrigan who works at a video store:..."Jeez look at him...I thought I could relax for once"... Keener says as she wonders why he has rejected her.

This has been compared to "Sex and the City", but there really is no comparison. A one hour TV show vs. film; this film has resonance; we will remember and want to see these characters again, they are not cardboard cut-out characterizations. TV has to be more polarized, due to the medium and time limits, hence the characters are more superficial and obvious.(Could we picture Kim Catrall in this film, I don't think so). I am surprised Nicole Holfcener has not surmised this, and realized the casting mistake in "Friends with Money"; if someone has a too-TV persona, they do not necessarily translate to film. That was one of the problems with FWM.

Also the performances in this film were not preceded by the personalities. Heche is believable, amusing and sympathetic. Catherine Keener is quirky, interesting and multi-layered. Liev Schreiber is funny, a good friend and we want to see more of him. Please, Ms. Holofcener, for your next film use film actors, not people who had a high "TV Q" or were married to a film celebrity for a brief period. It makes a great deal of difference, and the finished product proves this to be so. 9/10
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7/10
Fun, lively, hip, and all Keener and Heche.
=G=14 April 2001
"Walking and Talking" is a slice of life flick which focuses on two thirtyish female best friends (Heche & Keener). A dialogue-intensive plotless situational relationship light comedy, "W&T" offers good performances, a lively script, and a variety of situations with which thirtyish guys and gals will be able to identify. An enjoyable way to wile away 1.5 hours.
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7/10
Walk to the nearest video store soon and rent this nice film
inkblot116 April 2007
Amelia (Catherine Keener) is a very needy person. Therefore, losing her childhood friend Laura (Anne Heche) as a roommate has been tough. Laura has moved in with her boyfriend and is on the verge of becoming engaged. That hurts, as Amelia has not had good luck with men. She is forever phoning her best friend, nevertheless, for advice and for support in coping with life's problems, from a sick cat to a former boyfriend/pornography addict (Liev Schreiber). Laura, a counselor, does her best to be available for Amelia, but wedding plans and minor tifts with her intended leave her with less free time than ever. Will Amelia learn to just stand on her own two feet, for goodness sake? This is a quietly thoughtful film about friendship and its boundaries. Keener is wonderful as the friend who relies on others to help her through life's ups and downs. Even the most cherished friendships need room to breathe and Amelia has to learn this the hard way. Heche is likewise very fine as the beautiful lady who appears to have it all but may, in fact, have some flaws, too. Todd Field is great as Laura's fiancé and Schrieber gives a nice turn as a commitment phobic, sexually obsessive addict. All of the production necessities, from costumes to sets to direction, are quite nice. Then, too, the script is quirky, funny and original as well. No, this is not a thrill-a-minute adventure, so those who eschew slower paced, dialogue-driven films will want to skip over this one. Yet, if you adore romantic dramas brimming with life, humor, and important statements, here is the film you've been looking for. Walk to the nearest video outlet and peruse the shelves until you grasp this little gem in your hands.
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6/10
How to Win Friends and Influence People (Not)
wes-connors15 July 2008
Catherine Keener (as Amelia) spends the opening scenes putting down everyone in her life. She doesn't like best friend Anne Heche (as Laura)'s engagement ring. She calls video store geek Kevin Corrigan (as Bill), who wants to date her, "The Ugly Guy". She repeatedly calls ex-boyfriend-turned-friend Liev Schreiber (as Andrew) an ass----, for enjoying telephone sex. Her cat has cancer. And, her kitchen sponge stinks.

Intriguing character study, from writer/director Nicole Holofcener. Ms. Keener's "Amelia" seems to have a lot going for her; she is funny and attractive, and, she manages to keep friendships while being excessively judgmental. Things may have started going wrong for her when roommate Heche moved in with boyfriend Todd Field (as Frank). Mr. Field becomes another supportive friend, however. Although Keener is cranky throughout, she eventually proves to be an interesting, supportive friend.

The performances are all terrific. Mr. Corrigan may be most memorable, as the horror movie geek Keener labels "The Ugly Guy"; watch for an outstanding scene as he overhears a message on Keener telephone answering machine. Some back-hair might have helped him look more ugly, though. Then, again, hairier Rafael Alvarez does seem prove excessive hair isn't so ugly. Wonderfully ironic to see Randall Batinkoff (as Peter) play a waiter so well, and an actor so poorly. "Walking and Talking" manages to be a story about meaningful friendship without being terribly meaningful.

****** Walking and Talking (1996) Nicole Holofcener ~ Catherine Keener, Anne Heche, Kevin Corrigan
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New York neuroses - light but engrossing
grahamclarke14 March 2004
While an observation of New York neuroses hardly breaks new ground, the characters as drawn by writer/director Nicole Holofcener are interesting enough to keep us engrossed in this charming, sometimes moving comedy.

A New York drama critic faulted Catherine Keener in a stage performance for not acting, but for being just herself. Keener is perhaps not the most versatile performer, but she's always compelling on screen and even just "being herself" is more than enough.

Holofcener has a way with actors coaxing credible and funny performances from all. It's a very talky affair with not enough meat on it to make a lasting impression. But her talent is crystal clear. She's way above most other independent directors with an assured feel for dialog and formidable directing skills.
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7/10
A precursor to Sex and the City
howie739 January 2005
Hip, witty, likable precursor to Sex and the City. The film has a Woody Allen feel, but with a 90s feminist slant. Set in New York City, the camera follows the romantic trials and tribulations of its two lead females (in two exquisite performances from Keener and Heche). The dialog is bristling with insight and vigor unlike many films of that era that Hollywood mass produced as so -called romantic comedies. Yet this film is much more than a romantic comedy. Inspired by Woody Allen's more intimate and small-scale New York films, it adds its own voice to that tradition. This is definitely on of the better indie comedies of the 1990s, and stands the test of time even after the demise of Sex and the City.
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Hilarious indie comedy.
fedor89 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Terrific acting from a terrific cast, hilarious and clever dialog within a top script. Never a dull moment. The film avoids sliding from comedy into tedious sentimentality, and this is due to the fact that it's an independent film and not one of those Hollywood formula comedies that run out of jokes halfway, then hide behind clichéd boo-hoo-hoo crap. Only the last few minutes get a little schmaltzy, but not in any sort of irritating way. The film is more down-to-Earth than some other films of this kind; it avoids pretentiousness creeping into the dialog - the script's aim being to be humorous and not preachy. The only pity is that the film is rather short. Many funny scenes, a lot of which stem from a very original approach to humour; the biopsied-mole-gift "incident", Corrigan laughing about a cat having cancer, a patient who lies about his problems just to be interesting to Heche, Keener renting out pornos for her ex-boyfriend, Keener refusing to "finance" her ex-boyfriend's high long-distance sex-on-the-phone phone bills, Keener getting upset at Schreiber after he honestly answers her question about why they split up, Heche complaining to her fiancée that their sex-life is getting predictable (+ a detailed description of why it's so), Keener refusing to even consider the idea of an "execution of my cat" (very funny wording), or - one of my favourite moments - Heche's fiancé referring to hers and Keener's music as "vagina music" (i.e. the sort of 90s American-generation-X-girl-on-guitar, acoustic plinka-plonka, trite, oh-so "deep", and utterly uninspired and dull radio crap, practiced by such "talents" as Heather Nova, Lisa Loeb, Jewel, and the like).
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7/10
Subtly excellent, real
DocFilm2 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It is a pleasure to watch such good actors. One critic had dissed a Keener stage performance as "just being herself"---- well which is that, the dominatrix of "Malkovich," the writer in "Capote," or the character in this film? Utter transformation. And Anne Heche, in "Wild Side," the mad woman in "I Know what you did last summer," (Possible spoiler): Ebert's reviews are usually so right on, I wonder how he gets some descriptive things wrong. She doesn't date her patient (which would be a grossly unethical act not in keeping with her character) but goes to see the waiter/actor's performance.

While it might seem that the characters are spiritually bereft, the film does focus on everyday life, "walking and talking" and the vicissitudes of late 20's-early 30's finding their place in life. Perhaps some of the pleasure I took in this film has to do with the familiarity of relational themes of those years, as well as the setting which is mostly within 3-4 blocks of my home (the video store, alas, is gone now).
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My all-time favorite movie!
Indiechk115 July 2003
I have been watching W&T for 5 years now. Every chance I get. I know it by heart. I know that sounds silly or obsessive, but I feel like these people really exist. They are the people who live in your apartment building, they are the people you see renting movies, shopping. These could be your friends, lovers, bosses, neighbors. This movie is so real, yet there's not one boring scene or quality about it. I LOVE Keener and Corrigan. I want to see them in another movie together. This IS my all-time favorite movie. It has encouraged me to write as well. I would love to see Katherine Keener, Kevin Corrigan, Anne Heche, Liev schriber and also Parker Posey in one movie together. It would be my dream. It would be so great! If you love dialog driven movies, you'll love this one. Also pick-up 'Kicking & Screaming' and 'Kicked in the Head'. They all are endearing, sweet and funny. REAL, but Untimately idealistic You'll love it. I hope for more Nicole Holofcner movies.
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7/10
Good first-time effort from writer/director.
Hermit C-217 July 1999
There's not an unusual amount of walking in this flick, but it has all the talking you'd care for. So if movies that are in the 'thirtysomething' mold aren't to your liking, don't stop here. (The star, Catherine Keener, even looks like she'd fit in perfectly on that TV show.) On the other hand, if you like nothing better than a film that revolves around characters and their relationships, I don't think you'll go wrong giving this one a try.

How you feel about the film will of course be determined by how much you care for the characters, and I found them likeable enough to give it a positive rating. Amelia (Keener) is the confused one here, who doesn't want any more than a platonic relationship with her longtime male friend, and can't figure out why she can't get a worthwhile relationship going with any other man. Her best friend from childhood is Laura (Anne Heche) who seems to have everything that either of them wants as far as a relationship goes. Laura is soon to be married, which doesn't help Amelia's frustration any.

The movie doesn't ever get overly serious about things and stays enjoyable throughout. Keener is fine in her role and Heche seems to do well in every film she's in. This is a strong first-time effort by the writer/director, Nicole Holocener. I think she made the film she set out to do. It will be interesting to see if in the future she has anything more or different to say.
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A Brutally Honest Friendship
Chrysanthepop16 August 2012
Nicole Holofcener has a distinct eye for everyday events. 'Walking and Talking' is the first slice of life film from the same director who's made gems like 'Friends With Money', 'Lovely and Amazing' and 'Please Give'. All films mainly focus on the relationships of women. The center of 'Walking and Talking' is the friendship between Amelia and Laura. Holofcener and her actors Catherine Keener (a regular in the director's films) and Anne Heche do a superb job in depicting a friendship that is not always about hanging out and partying.

What Holofcener portrays is a bond that has changed throughout the years for these two women but become stronger than before. They are open to each other, honest, judgmental without worrying about hurting each other. Feelings do get hurt but at the same time it is this honesty that is the strength of their relationship and what gets them through the tougher times.

The director has cast Catherine Keener in all her feature films and has done so in distinct roles. In all these films, Keener's character is searching for satisfaction whether it's in marriage, friendship, human nature. The characters, though similar in many ways, also have distinct qualities especially in the way they cope with their problems and the people surrounding them.

Of course, needless to say, Keener fits all roles to the T, turning in some of her best works. Anne Heche definitely holds her own. Liev Schreiber is adequate. Kevin Corrigan is great. Todd Field does a fine job too.

On the technical side, it's nothing too flashy. Everything flows smoothly. The score gives it the right level of whimsical touch. The locations are beautiful yet simple.

In the end, 'Walking and Talking' is a universal human story about friendship. Holofcener did a terrific job telling such a story in her first film and she has continued to do so in her following features.
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7/10
Pleasant Comedy
kenjha30 December 2011
This is a pleasant slice-of-life comedy about two young women experiencing love and heartache. This was the first feature film for writer-director Holofcener, and she has made a career out of such small films about relationships, particularly among women, all starring Keener. The actress is so good at this sort of role that she doesn't even appear to be acting. Heche is equally good as Keener's best friend, engaged to be married to goofy Schreiber. It's not a great film by any means, but the characters are real and likable, making it easy to spend some time with them. Holofcener has a talent for making keen observations about human behavior.
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8/10
Unexpected gem
richard-154430 November 2006
I stumbled upon this on Showtime cable, sitting in a hotel room in Kingston, Jam, nursing a nasty little virus and seeking some cheering up. What a lovely surprise. As another reviewer says, beautifully written, well acted, unpretentious and just very simply appealing. I'm really too old for voyages of discovery and young love but the stunning soundtrack featuring the wonderfully eloquent Billy Bragg evoked so many lovely memories for me. Curious how a cockney poet's music can work with an American romance...but it did. A real gem to watch on your own, with a partner or a good friend and, if you don't have a virus, a good glass of red wine.
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Dare I say... good for the 30 somethings?
Stainless_Steel_Rat16 February 2003
This movie basically looks at several characters in their thirties, and the trials and tribulations of relationships and friendships. There's certainly plenty of talking, and it feels a little like a fly-on-the-wall documentary due to the relaxed nature of a lot of the scenes. It also does a good job of capturing the stupidity, naivety, and selfishness that it seems is becoming more and more common place in the adults of the 90's+.

Worryingly I could remember going through or witnessing many of the scenes in this movie, which made it even more poignant!
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I'm in love with Catherine Keener
stuhh200114 June 2002
Can you imagine Kevin Corrigan's agent calling him for this part?"Kev, I got you this part of a video store clerk. They want a real ugly guy. I told them you don't fit this at all, why, you're a regular Brad Pitt, but they told me they have an excellent makeup man to make you SEEM ugly." Yeah, right. I don't know if this story is true, but Kevin does a magnificent job, like Joe Everyshlub looking for someone to love and hold. In the Actors Studio, the director Lee Strassberg used to admonish the actors during a scene, "STOP ACTING", and in this delightful movie its almost immpossible to detect any acting at all, it seems so natural, like a movie camera was left runnig in the characters apartments. Catherine Keener, I believe, isn't a trained actress at all. She just stumbled into it. Like I stumble through life. She's wonderful. I want her to be my mommy, wife, sex toy immediately. For anyone even remotely in love with a pet, her concern over her cat is priceless, and it's not sickeningly cloying at all. Along with Anne Heche's, and Lev Schreiber's wonderful participation this unheralded, un megabillion earning film is a delight from start to finish, and THANK YOU NICOLE HOLOFEENER, the brains behind it all.
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10/10
Best "chick-flick" ever
iamlarsx27 February 2001
I almost hesitate to call "Walking and Talking" a chick-flick, because that would seem to denigrate this wonderful little movie. But, if it is one, at least it is the best chick flick ever made. Everyone has a special best friend, and one can appreciate these women's friendship no matter one's sex, age, persuasion, etc. The best thing in the movie is the ease with which Keener and Heche really seem to be best friends. They have screen chemistry most love stories would be blessed to find. There isn't a moment when you don't feel these women are real-life best friends and not actresses. Pitched at a perfect low-key lope, and splendidly acted by all: everyone seems to have a great connection to their costars. Best moments: Catherine Keener and Liev Schreiber in a hammock, and Keener and Heche's hand-holding laughter in the final shot. Great little movie.
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5/10
Anther of those "You'll like it if you like this sort of thing" movies
MBunge26 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Walking And Talking is a lot more talking than walking. It's the sort of film that some will think is the cat's meow while others will despise it like it's a child molester and both points of view will be valid. That's because while this movie is well done, what it does is so blisteringly ordinary. Just about anyone who watches it will have moments of emotional recognition for what's going on in the story and most will spend the time in between those moments plaintively waiting for the talking and walking to go anywhere.

Amelia (Catherine Keener) is a single woman in New York City. She has a lifelong best friend named Laura (Anne Heche) who's now living with a boyfriend (Todd Field). Amelia doesn't have a boyfriend. She does have an ex-boyfriend named Andrew (Liev Schrieber) who hangs around like Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. Amelia's also got a cat dying of cancer and a video store clerk/horror movie fan (Kevin Corrigan) who wants to bone her.

As soon as Laura's boyfriend proposes to her, she starts fancying other men. As soon as Amelia gets comfortable with "settling" for the video store clerk, he dumps her for saying he's ugly behind his back. Andrew has a father with Alzheimer's and a pseudo-girlfriend in California whom he wants to dump right after he has phone sex with her. Amelia feels abandoned by Laura not always being there for her and Laura can't always be there for her because she's actually gone out and gotten a life of her own.

Now take all of that and coat it with 2 ½ inches of well written but mostly inconsequential blather and you've got Walking And Talking. It'll work for you if you like the performers, enjoy having a waterfall of very short scenes splash over you and appreciate examinations of humanity in utterly unexceptional circumstances. It'll feel like a potato peeler across your forehead if you want characters that are likable, need a story to have some propulsion and don't want to watch a motion picture that's less interesting than your own life.

Catherine Keener does a wonderful job playing a woman you really wouldn't want to know. Anne Hech is as good playing a woman you would want to know but would have a love/hate relationship with. Liev Schreiber is okay, except for the fact that Amelia and Andrew's relationship is written as though Nicole Holofcener has never met a man, let alone dated one. Ex-lovers can certainly break up and still find a way to be friends. That way is not going to be like it is here, where Amelia treats Andrew like her gay best friend and Andrew behaves like he's her gay best friend. That's an odd way for ex-lovers to relate and requires a lot more explanation than it gets in Walking And Talking.

Which is a complaint that could be levied against much of this script. While the film is already too long as 86 minutes, the story feels like significant parts of it are regularly being skipped in order to show you scenes that would normally be cut out of a film to tighten it up. None of it's bad, but you can't help thinking there's something more important you should be seeing.

If you like dramas where the drama is muted, comedies where the comedy produces more knowing grins than giggles and romances where you don't particularly care if the lovers get together or not, give Walking And Talking a try. If you can take pleasure from craft for its own sake, give Walking And Talking a try. If you want a movie that doesn't remind you of the inane conversations you've had with your own friends, find something else to watch
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9/10
Nicole Holocenfer's first....is best
mojojones7715 June 2010
Even in her first film back in 1996, Nicole Holocenfer has always been the best at conveying so much feeling, with so little.

'Walking and Talking' is an impressive Nicole Holocenfer starter and possibly her best as it gets everything just right in that Nicole Holofcener way. It doesn't over due with the bonding motives drenched in the appropriate music that Nicole Holocenfer can't see the cheese in and has induced in her more recent films immensely. This first effort also spawns Nicole's signature comedy of finding the hilarity in smug, annoying and odd strangers(who we all loathe), and in the funny but horrible shallowness of her characters in which has made Nicole known for making comedic movies since then. The writing here is more raw and youthful with Nicole's feelings as a girl and a woman, maybe because of the times but this makes for more original, interesting, and entertaining dialogue and performances.'Walking and Talking' unlike Nicole's later films, also doesn't hit you over the head with the acts of one dimensional characters as each character properly goes through a vary of feelings and moods as they each go through various different situations of life, more so like real people. With this, (unfortuantely unlike her other films) she doesn't make the men in the movie side notes and props. They get a say too and convey almost as much emotion as the female characters. Nicole Holofcener's point in her movies maybe to make women the forefront of her movies and to make men the props, but I personally find it insulting and typical to do this, so it was perfect to see her first effort was true to everyone.

Nicole's direction style, especially with this entire, tells us shes not afraid to make things wacky to convey a character's thoughts and emotions even in a story of real-life, and with her camera direction as well, she always makes things feel interesting to watch as characters appear on the screen and as scenes coming along with a simple pan, although things going on in the movie are average life situations. And she never pushes a scene into a more sexually or exciting realm for interest of the viewer, as she keeps scenes in the reality of what it is depicting, which is wonderful because its real. She proves to be a big fan of the fade in and fade out into and out of sequences as its used here and in her later films, but it makes more sense in 'Walking and Talking'and brings certain meaning to certain scenes as appose to 'Friends with Money' but the fade out was interesting in that movie none-the-less. This direction style with the soft, awkward acoustic music to the scenes can be also seen as influential to the indie movie scene of 2000s with it's structure, to movies like 'Juno'.

This is a great 90's time capsule and even unrated as a definitive 90's movie with it's great 90's soundtrack and band references, it's geek-tom fan fair, and laid-back lifestyles of the characters so significant to generation x.

This first effort years ago, shows that Nicole Holofcener gets like no other the awkwardness of relating to ageing family members and ageing in general. The feeling of being lonely, and feeling that time is passing by and being wasted having your own ironic stupid superficial ideals hold you back from being with someone who wants to fill the void and who thinks your the bell-of-the-ball, and that you don't know someone can make you happy until you give them a shot, because you can't wait forever. This is also one of the most accurate films showing the jealously shared between to friends, of one having someone in companionship, and the other having no one in freedom. This is an important,intelligent and accurate film for females but at it's core its also a life study for men and women equally.

May I also add, that no wonder Nicole Holofcener has used Catherine Keener all these years.... Shes a great actress. And This is proof that Kevin Corrigan has always been amazing.
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9/10
everybody can relate to this really cool flick
killer_tray31 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Amelia has what everyone thinks they need, a job, a apartment, a cat, a best friend, a date (even though hes ugly) and she is even close friends with her ex. But then, things start slid to fast from under her feet, her cat gets cancer, her best friend, Laura, is getting married, and Bill(her ugly date), hasn't talked to her in two weeks.. All this time, she keeps up the appearance, while helping Laura pick out a place for the wedding, giving Andrew advice about his relationship with a girl in California, treating her cats cancer, and trying to win over Bill. this is one of those films that everyone (apart from small children) can have something in common. whether they have commitment issues, as Laura has with Frank , or you still like your ex, like Andrew does Amelia, or you feel like the third wheel, just like Amelia does with Laura, or you feel very distant from your partner, as Frank does with Laura. we all connect one of these characters to ourselves or someone we know. Everyone feels like Frank sometimes, walking on eggshells, not having any say in anything anymore. Everyone feels like Laura sometimes, like everything is going to fast, and you want to go back and enjoy life as it was before. Everyone feels like Andrew sometimes, we get so close to getting back with an ex, and being rejected nicely. And Everyone feels like Amelia sometimes, when nothing is going is your way, and nobody is listening.
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Simply Put: This Movie Does What It Sets Out To Do
d_fienberg31 January 2001
There are independent movies that try to set the world on edge and try to revise the way that we view and use the medium. Sometimes you get a Being John Malkovitch, where it all pays off. More often than not, those end up like the films by pedantic pissant Harmony Korine (you couldn't pay me enough money to watch Gummo again). On the other end of the spectrum, though, are filmmakers who just try to make movies about people. These are simple movies without fancy handheld camera tricks, Vaseline coated filters, or the use of unattractive actors simply to prove that the world is ugly (One more time, Harmony Korine, I'm talking to you). They use actors who look like people, perhaps a little more attractive, but not much. And these people speak the way your friends talk, not the way a bunch of film school graduate students talk. Nicole Holofcener's Walking and Talking is a perfect example of the latter kind of film. Frankly, it doesn't aim very high, but then again it never feels forced, obnoxious, or pretentious (Last stab at you, Harmony Korine).

Walking and Talking is frankly about just that, the movement of life and the conversations we have along with way, conversations with people we love, people we hate, and people we want to love. It has a wonderful awareness that sometimes good intentions go bad, that sometimes jokes hurt, and that sometimes dull doesn't mean bad.

Amelia (Catherine Keener) and Laura (Anne Heche) are like sisters. Former roommates, they've always told each other everything, but now Laura is engaged Frank (Todd Field) and sometimes Laura, who works as an obviously pretty awful therapist, tells Frank secrets first. Amelia, on the other hand, is looking for love. She's proud that she can now be friends with her ex-boyfriend Andrew (Liev Schreiber) and that she can find attractiveness in the ugly video store clerk Bill (Kevin Corrigan). None of these characters are 100% successful at anything they do and they all seem to be living with illusions that there's something better out there for them. But rather than going looking for it, they rent videos, shop, and talk of the phone. And yet, as Holofcener makes clear, there's nothing unusual, tragic, or pathetic about this lifestyle.

Holofcener's greatest skill is that she doesn't judge any of these characters and she does a wonderful job with the actors making their performances seem real. Unlike so many movie characters, you don't leave Walking and Talking wishing you had friends that were this cool. You leave realizing that your friends are very similar. Holofcener doesn't force any of the action, displaying no particular personal directing style in both the best and worse senses of the phrase. She doesn't do much to move the story along, but she also never distracts you.

Since this movie came out we've gotten to know all of the actors better. Anne Heche became something of a media generated star. Catherine Keener was nominated for an Oscar. Todd Field featured prominently in Eyes Wide Shut, Liev Schreiber was in Screams 2 and 3, and Kevin Corrigan has been in 22 TV and movie projects in those 4 years. Several of these actors have resorted to schtick in other films (mostly Heche and Corrigan here), but in Walking and Talking they all seem casual and correct. It's a pleasure to watch them.

Walking and Talking is very slight, but it's also memorable for the performances, the unforced writing, and a nice depiction of New York City that doesn't seem overly familiar. This is a solid 7/10, a good rental that loses nothing on the small screen.
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8/10
Keener Rules
frink-313 July 1999
The best little movie that no one ever saw. Catherine Keener is one of the best actresses around, and she's particularly good at comic roles. The relationship betw. her and Heche in this movie is really touching and authentic. Few movies focus on women's friendships w/ one another, and even fewer achieve this level of realism and complexity. Kevin Corrigan is deadpan hilarious as Keener's ... I guess you could call him a love interest, but that's not quite it. This is a very funny and yet a very sweet movie. --Frink-3
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9/10
Funny story with real characters.
MrSpoons8 May 1999
An excellent film featuring a slightly manic and wonderful performance by Anne Heche, leading a stellar indie cast. Insight into relationships between friends and couples. Funny and heartwarming.
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