Beautiful Brooke Image

Beautiful Brooke is about a lady who is miserable and alone because her boyfriend, Tony (Nick Cardiff), dumped her as he found out she’s cheating on him. Brooke (Annie Rix) cheats on all her boyfriends because she has commitment and emotional attachment issues. Even as a child, she had problems connecting with people. Helen (Caty Gordon), her long-time best friend, offers to guide Brooke on a journey to find out why she is compelled to bail on every relationship.

In her mid-20s, with her life in shambles, Brooke is a walking textbook of emotional dysfunction. It’s never clear precisely why this particular break-up causes her to reflect on her life, but up until the point where Tony dumps her, she’s been oblivious to her problems. This is what, for her, serves as normal. What is apparent, however, is that only when she finally feels the pain does she choose to seek an answer. Never mind the two-plus decades of scorched earth in her wake from all the relationships and friendships she’s torched. Empathy is not her strong suit.

Brooke cheats on all her boyfriends because she has commitment and emotional attachment issues.”

She winds her way through an analysis of herself and her romantic choices as she tries to answer the questions that weave a web of mystery, and along the way, she encounters other lost souls. Writer-director Michael P. Noens owes much to both Stephen Frear’s High Fidelity and Kevin Smith’s Chasing AmyBeautiful Brooke borrows heavily from both of those scripts. Brooke sets out on a vision quest to talk to her old boyfriends (the ones she can remember) to discover any common themes for what went wrong in her past relationships.

Rob Gordon (John Cusack) takes the same trip down memory lane in High Fidelity, with much the same outcome. They both cause more pain for themselves and others by dredging up the past. The connection to Chasing Amy gets into spoiler territory, but the big reveal at the end, it turns out, is something any viewer (and possibly at least one character) who’s paying attention will grasp early on in the story. The fun is in watching Brooke get there.

Beautiful Brooke (2016)

Directed and Written: Michael P. Noens

Starring: Annie Rix, Caty Gordon, Walt Sloan, Keith Habersberger, Amy Rapp, Caty Gordon, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Beautiful Brooke Image

"…makes you wish you could circle back to the characters in five years..."

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