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Thursday, August 16, 2012


I had the pleasure to work with the movie's writer and director, Mr. Kedar Korde, subtitling this DVD for the Spanish Market.
X's & O's is a puzzling comedy, and I don't mean it in a bad way, on the contrary, it needs to be seen to be believed. Mr. Korde has made a romantic comedy set up in the real world, in which the camera could be anyone of us looking at our own environment.

But the movies also a local view of how much it sucks to date in San Francisco, California, considered one of the worst cities for dating and commitment in the U.S.

Yeah, it's not that easy to get "action" in a town where everybody wants everything as soon as possible, and at the slightest mistake you get dumped for good. "You're not what I want" is the phrase most people tell their partners before a break-up or the end of a one-night stand. Later, they complain they're lonely and there's not too much to choose from. Well, you'll see exactly that in this movie.

This one is a romantic comedy with a twist in which the people we root for might not be the role models for a normal, healthy behavior. The main character is a lovesick scientist named Simon who has a crush on a beautiful but mean girl (so mean she's capable of telling him she wouldn't give birth to a baby because she's not the maternal type, but she spends most of the time mating like a rabbit with every man except Simon.) She treats him like a bathroom mop, and he seems to like it, because he keeps trying and trying. Eventually, he believes, she will fall for him.

There's of course a girl who's really cool and likes him a lot. A very interesting Latina girl named Trese who sees in him a potential match in the same sea of deception that's called the San Francisco Nightlife. She's angry at the world but notices in Simon a beacon of hope. Trese has a roommate too and she kinda, kinda, has feelings for her (come on, it's San Francisco, what do you expect!) The development of the story puts us in a crash course to a potential lame end (the good guy gets the cool girl and the mean girl learns her lesson) but the involvement of Simon's best friend, a player named Lorenzo, avoids an end that would make the movie forgettable or in the same bunch of lame stories like "The Notebook" or "P.S. I Love You." To tell you exactly what Lorenzo does or says to Trese and Simon and his group of friends would be to spoil the story. His involvement and his actions caused by his past -a breakup with a beautiful girl who dumped him for a Born-Again Christian leader- is essentially the "McGuffin" of the plot. Without Lorenzo, the movie wouldn't have had any movement.

It seems that men and women have to protect each other of potential damage, in a society that's already paranoid of itself. For men, the friends they think are their real friends are just fake ones trying to harm us and women will just deceive us, so men might as well go on for the ride and see what might come out. Simon finds satisfaction being rejected, Lorenzo finds it thinking about commitment while sleeping with one bartender after another every weekend -not even thanking them for the fun and not even... ehem, tipping!

For me, the most interesting character is Simon's friend Jimmy, an Asian kid who's trying to be a gangster (or at least a fake one) and prove his friends he has his woman under his thumb, but a simple twist of fate regarding a barbecue meat theft will make him realize things are very, very fragile in his life. The tables will turn for him as well, but Korde uses his story as a counterpoint to see what might lie ahead if Simon gets lucky with Jane.

Pain happens for a reason in this symphony of deception, but will it conclude on a major, happy note? This movie can be a great date movie for couples who aren't afraid of their own emotions and have nothing to hide. You won't find the kind of comedy you see in "Wedding Crashers" or "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

You might find yourself amused and feeling close to the characters, way more than X's and O's in an endless game. The movie is available on Netflix for streaming.

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