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Apartment Zero Movie Review

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What do movie buffs do in the daytime? Some people wonder, but not for very long. If you go to the same theatre night after night, you'll see the guy who wears the same shirt every night and switches his seat six times during the movie, the guy who routinely arrives an hour late (or 23 hours early), the guy who chain smokes in between features and never looks at or talks to anyone, the guy who always sits in the front row and can't wait to see every movie Dennis O'Keefe played in as an extra, the guy who arrives unannounced at the residences of 90-year-old actresses with an armful of 8'’ by 10'’ studio stills and a marking pen, the guy who sits next to you and invites himself on your unplanned 500-mile trip to a fan convention the day after tomorrow. Yeah, they're mostly guys. If you're not, they'll tolerate you if you know who Bob Steele and Verna Hillie are, but they only have eyes for starlets whose careers ended before they were born. Half of them hate each other on sight, like territorial tom cats, the other half aren't on speaking terms, unless someone wants to show off because he's seen Lloyd Bridges in 1935's Dancing Feet in a bit and he's the only one who HAS (in a dungeon-God-knows-where). Ah, the magic of the movies…Adrian Le Duc (Colin Firth) would fit right in with this crowd, if he can ever tear himself away from his Buenos Aires projection booth and Apartment Zero. For all his hard-earned cinematic knowledge, Adrian is intrinsically lonely and desperately in need of deep friendship. Adrian is picky, though. If someone doesn't know who Geraldine Page is—that's it, Adrian gave him his chance. When delectable Jack Carney (Hart Bochner) turns up applying to be his flat mate, Adrian gazes on him as if he's all 42 reels of 1924's Greed or the nitrate original of 1928's The Divine Woman. Jack doesn't know anything about movies, though. He doesn't even recognize the beautifully framed photograph of Montgomery Clift on Adrian's wall. But it doesn't matter; Adrian is hooked. So is everyone else in Adrian's building, who absolutely adore Jack, especially after he rescues a pussy cat. Adrian is jealous; he doesn't mix with the neighbors. Adrian's obsession with his flat mate grows as Jack puts up with his moods and pacifies him at every turn. Jack even suggests picking up girls together, but Adrian doesn't like girls, only women like the framed supernovas back at the flat. Then Adrian discovers that Jack isn't what he thought he was and vice-a versa. Things get dark and creepy and furtive and don't forget that we're not in Kansas, Toto, we're in Argentina where people come and go so quickly, Dear. This smashingly acted, wonderfully satisfying chiller is chock full of film lore (including a great movie game you can play at home with your friends) and plenty of surprises. Colin Firth, a sexy matinee idol since 1984's Another Country, is still a sexy matinee idol after playing Darcy in 1995's Pride and Prejudice. Hart Bochner spent a lot of time making LONG miniseries on American television before directing 1994's very funny P.C.U. with Jeremy Piven, David Spade, and Jessica Walters, followed by 1996's High School High.

1988 (R) 124m/C GB Hart Bochner, Colin Firth, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Liz Smith, Dora Bryan, James Telfer, Mirella D'Angelo, Juan Vitale, Francesca D'Aloja, Miguel Ligero, Elvia Andreoli, Marikeva Monti; D: Martin Donovan; W: Martin Donovan, David Koepp; C: Miguel Rodriguez; M: Elia Cmiral. VHS, LV

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