‘Union Square,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


When you first meet Lucy, played with bracing forthrightness by Mira Sorvino in Nancy Savoca’s “Union Square,” well, let’s just say she can only grow on you.

Because Lucy is – or seems to be – a serious pain. She’s whiny, she’s needy and she’s abrasive without even trying to be.

But stick with her. In Savoca’s brisk, surprising little film, she and Sorvino achieve a kind of raw emotion that you don’t find very often. Most movies would find cute or obvious ways to redeem Lucy. Savoca does ultimately reveal her more appealing side – or at least makes her seem less annoying – but Sorvino earns every iota of sympathy or empathy she elicits from the viewer in “Union Square,” opening in limited release Friday (7/13/12).

When we first see Lucy, she’s arriving in the titular park in Manhattan, nattering into her cell phone to an unseen man. She wants to see him – but he’s at work and doesn’t have time. And he doesn’t sound particularly pleased to see her. Oh, and he’s married.

After going back and forth with him on the phone (and shopping for tight, revealing clothes at the now-defunct Filene’s Basement), Lucy shows up at the front door of Jenny (Tammy Blanchard). Jenny, it turns out, is her sister and they obviously haven’t been in touch in a while. Nor does Jenny seem particularly pleased to see Lucy.

Indeed, Jenny treats her like a bit of a ticking time bomb.

This review continues on my website.

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