On paper, this Manhattan-based ensemble drama is a laundry list of indie sins: A group of mostly young, mostly pretty city dwellers navigates a 24-hour period in which they discover that their romantic and professional destinies are all intertwined. Some of the scenes play out in split-screen, and the characters are introduced via title cards that state their given names in stark black and white which is usually visual shorthand for "Danger! Falling Suckage Next 93 Mins." But don't prejudge the movie based on those troubling cues, nor on the atrocious opening monologue by Glenn Close, whose role as a pretentious stage diva is a self-conscious photographic negative of everything Annette Bening accomplished in Being Julia. Most of the other performances especially James Marsden's and Elizabeth Banks' work as a shakily engaged couple are unexpectedly fine, and the story defies the convention of its genre by actually going somewhere. A few preposterous plot points don't seriously detract from the engaging game of figuring out who's going to do what to whom and who already did. With George Segal as a rabbi. Yeah.
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