It never came to a Tulsa theatre, but 2007’s Broken English, which I saw on DVD, is a small triumph for director-writer Zoe Cassavetes. Nora Wilder (Parker Posey) has no boyfriend. She does have a fling, however, in her native New York City with a Frenchman, Julien (Melvil Poupaud). It hurts her when he returns to Paris; indeed, Nora’s life is a vacuous mess. Ergo she decides to fly to Paris with her best friend to try to find Julien, that is, to find a man she does not actually love. She goes because she wants to love and to be loved. On another level, she goes not to find Julien but herself.
The film has to do with the drift and hope, not to mention the anxiety, of the lovelorn. I can’t resist declaring that this is one Nora who is not in anyone’s doll house–because she has no husband. Even so, there is no evidence that her best friend, a dissatisfied wife played by Drea de Matteo, is living in Ibsen’s doll house either. The adeptly directed Broken English is the work of the daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. It’s more deserving than daddy’s films.