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By Doug Brunell | October 12, 2007

One on my deal breakers in film is dialogue. Too many writers can’t do it right. What’s worse is that many think they can, and they usually end up being the worst offenders. Those writers think they are clever and that every character should talk like them. They dictate the dialogue instead of letting the characters speak in their own voices. If the writer wants to get “cool” across he’ll have almost every character making pop culture references, characters attempting to sound smart by tossing around words people rarely use, and have them engage in pointless discussions about all sorts of inane things (thank you, Tarantino). The end result is that every character ends up sounding identical. That’s one of the biggest problems with “For Catherine,” a film that something called Ash Riot described as the “best and funniest independent film in years.” It’s not. Not even close.

Grant Henry plays Duo, the type of annoying character who populates every indie movie that deals with lost love. Duo has just shipped all his belongings to himself because his girlfriend took off to England. The items get lost in transit. Insert forced, obvious metaphor here. Travis Barkley plays Duo’s friend, Travis, who is equally annoying and just as much a slacker as Duo. Complete the mix with some girls, some other guys and discussions about “Survivor,” women and David Hasselhoff and you got a movie that is a not really a romantic comedy in the Hollywood sense of the word, but is in the indie definition. (Thankfully, Ethan Hunter, the writer/director, was smart enough to write a semi-original ending.)

Had it not been for the dialogue which has been heard a million times before, I could have given this movie a better rating, as it does have at least one good moment (I won’t spoil it, but it comes near the end of the film). Unfortunately, all Hunter really succeeds in doing is showing that he can make his characters sound like clones of one another. That ruins anything this film had going for it, and leaves me little hope for his future in film.

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