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By Eric Campos | June 22, 2002

Finding Forrester found a young writer gaining inspiration from a reclusive author. Saving Silverman is a Neil Diamond epic saga. And “Looking For Leonard” shows us why picking up on shoplifting women in grocery stores is a big no no. Sure they all have similar sounding titles, but the thing that separates the first two from the last film is that they both actually do something with the characters and ideas presented within. “Looking For Leonard” just seems to kinda sit in neutral, hoping for a stiff wind to blow it uphill or something.
Jo robs convenience stores with her boyfriend Ted and his brother Johnny. The trio work just fine together when they’re wearing ski masks and holding guns, but at home it’s a different story. Ted and Johnny camp out in front of the tube, staring through it rather than at it, every once in a while engaging in a very dull verbal exchange. Meanwhile, Jo is in the other room of the apartment that they share, sick of her boyfriend and reading Leonard Cohen books, hoping to find the meaning of life. Not the most exciting events to watch, but at least they’re shot really well and the performances aren’t that shabby either.
Then, one day while shoplifting at a grocery store, Jo meets Luka, an out of work Czech computer programmer. The two hit it off and after a day of frolicking in the city, Luka returns with Jo to her apartment, where nobody is supposed to be home, for some late night snogging. But little brother Johnny finds the two sucking face and decides to attack. His efforts only get him smacked up alongside the head by Jo with an ashtray, which renders him…dead. Oops.
Luka splits and Jo is left to make the murder look like it had been by someone who had broken in. She calls the police who arrive and find Luka’s wallet, which had slipped out of his back pocket during the struggle with Johnny, on the floor. The police ask Jo what’s up with the wallet and she has no choice but to go along with their conclusion that it belongs to the person who broke into the apartment and committed the murder.
So there Jo is, still stuck with her bummed boyfriend who she no longer has any interest for and she just helped to incriminate the one guy who looked like he might actually bring some love and excitement into her life.
Now things are cooking up, right? Well… yeah… for the fifteen minutes that this all goes down. After that, all we’re stuck with is a bunch of characters that brood too much (about the meaning of life and love to be exact) rather than acting on their emotions. I understand that these are very confused people that we’re dealing with here, but there’s definitely a better way to illustrate this than have them just mope about for 90 minutes.
Yet, like I mentioned before, “Looking For Leonard” is very well shot. Top-notch stuff. I just wish the unfolding events and characters were just as interesting.

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