What Happened Was…(Tom Noonan – 1994) A

It’s movies like this that make the annual Criterion Channel fee so worth it. I am not sure I ever would’ve heard of or seen this one anywhere else and it is a gem of a little film. Sure, it is just two people on a date, their first date, at the woman’s Manhattan apartment. That is it. We watch her prep the place, he shows up, they talk, eat dinner (she made scallops over the weekend and heats it up in the microwave) and have drinks and talk, and talk. The whole thing seems to go on in real time. Like the great My Dinner with Andre (and to a degree Jeanne Dielmann), if you like those types of “people talking” movies you get sucked in the conversation and you learn so much about the characters by what they say, how they say it, their pauses and body language. By the end, it feels as if we had known them for much longer than a couple hours.

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