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Finding North (1998)

She’s looking for her Prince Charming. He just lost his.

Directed by:

Tanya Wexler

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 92 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

In the most dramatic in-the-buff on-screen arrival since ‘The Terminator’, a suicidal Travis (John Benjamin Hickey) stands contemplating jumping from his perch on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Even stranger, passing bankteller Rhonda (Wendy Makkena) instantly pinpoints this miserable git as her ideal man – after all, how’s she to know that the reason for Trav’s morose state is the recent death of long-term gay lover Bobby. So, like a particularly kooky variety of psychopath, she starts stalking him. And I mean REALLY stalking him – which includes walking into his house uninvited, raking through his belongings and eventually following him all the way to Texas.

Things get stranger yet, for instead of taking one of the normal courses of action and either running away, calling the police or both, Travis lets Rhonda tag along with him as he embarks upon a treasure hunt set from beyond the grave. Which isn’t really as creepy as it sounds.

Though a little gushy at times for this reviewer’s tastes, there’s an appealing stream of amiability trickling through the players and plot which is difficult to resist. Makkena tackles her role with equal parts vulnerability and likability, making her pairing with Hickey’s stony Travis character work surprisingly well. She’s almost like the acceptable face of stalking – perhaps all the other stalkers out there should consider using her in their recruitment drives.

Director Tanya Wexler – who, interestingly enough, is Daryl Hannah’s half-sister – delivers a film with some terrific understated humour and an over-riding feel-good vibe to more than compensate for the seemingly gloomy subject matter. Though the plot relies a little heavily on various contrivances in order to get itself underway, the end result is a refreshing triumph of character over self-conscious stylistics, attention-seeking special effects or any of those other blights on the big budget movie world.

It's Got: Considerably less nudity than the box suggests.

It Needs: A compass. It’s called ‘Finding North’, you see? Oh, just forget it.

DVD Extras A few trailers are all there is to distinguish it from the VHS release. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

Broadway Damage

Summary

A surprisingly warm and at times funny tale of two unusual yet believable friends. Nice to watch.

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