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Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, Rodrigo Garcia (2000)

How perfect to see this just after the testosterone fountain that was Miami Vice. Smart, terse, elegantly constructed set of vignettes–they feel like a set of Raymond Carver short stories–that shows what could be possible if womens’ experience were foregrounded in film instead of mens’. The segments are all frankly emotional, but none of them (OK, almost none of them) are mawkish, and all of them are shot with intelligence and sensitivity. Is it a coincidence that the normally so-so actors Amy Brenneman, Cameron Diaz, and Calista Flockhart all shine here? I don’t think so; I think they’re just thrilled to be able to play human beings instead of chicks, and rise like crazy to the occasion. Written and directed by the son of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. What I wouldn’t give for a drop of that gene pool.

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