Love, sex, and longing are at the center of the feature-length 28 Hotel Rooms (watch the trailer). In town for a wedding, a novelist (Chris Messina) and an accountant (Marin Ireland) meet and have a one-night stand. Months later, they run into each other again and have another tryst…which leads to another and another until they’re a couple—well, as much as they can be when she’s married and he has a girlfriend.
Though the story seems a bit cliché—two people who want to be together but are separated by circumstance—in the hands of first-time director Matt Ross, the affair shifts from something sordid to an honest portrayal of two people trying to figure out how to make it work. Ross’ nontraditional film techniques put the spotlight on a blooming romance, from first kisses to first fights and everything in between. He employs a collage style of brief hotel-room scenes (the audience moves from one room to the next, from city to city, crossing time periods without being exactly sure when or where these meetings are taking place) and, besides a few extras in a restaurant scene, casts the ‘couple’ as the only two characters in the film.
The pair are unsure of how to continue being together but, at the same, are unwilling to let go of each other. In that way, 28 Hotel Rooms is a more honest portrayal of relationships than we often see on the silver screen.
See It: 28 Hotel Rooms plays on Tuesday, November 6 at Denver Pavilions at 2:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. It plays again on November 7 at 9:15 p.m. at the L2 Arts and Culture Center.
—Image courtesy of the Starz Denver Film Festival