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Broken English


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Product Details

  • Actors: Parker Posey, Melvil Poupaud, Gena Rowlands, Drea de Matteo, Tim Guinee
  • Directors: Zoe R. Cassavetes
  • Writers: Zoe R. Cassavetes
  • Producers: Andrew Fierberg, Christina Weiss Lurie, David Atlan Jackson, Jason Kliot, Jean-Baptiste Babin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2007
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OU082G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,631 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Broken English" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Though made by the daughter of iconoclastic filmmaker John Cassavetes, Broken English is a surprisingly old-fashioned affair. Just as her friend Sofia Coppola wrote about a woman much like herself for Lost in Translation, Zoe Cassavetes has done something similar for her first film (although Before Sunset seems to have exerted a greater influence). Nora (Parker Posey in typically fine form) works in guest relations for a hip New York hotel, just as the writer/director once did. Her best friend, Audrey (Drea de Matteo, The Sopranos), has been married for five years, while Nora remains single. Her mother, Vivien (Gena Rowlands, Zoe's real-life mother), would like to see her settle down. First, Nora goes on a date with self-obsessed actor Nick (a mohawked Justin Theroux), then blind date Charlie (Josh Hamilton). Neither ends well. Nora laments, "Men hate me," but Audrey argues that Nora really hates herself. Her self-confidence gets a boost when she meets Julien (Melvil Poupaud, François Ozon's Time to Leave), a chain-smoking, fedora-sporting Frenchman. Just as she starts to falls for him, Julien returns to Paris, so Nora has to decide whether to stay...or to go. Much like the ladies of Sex and the City (on which Theroux guested), she's the kind of character who appears to have it all, but feels worthless if she isn't in a relationship. It isn't a particularly progressive notion--that the right man will solve every problem--but that doesn't mean plenty of women won't be able to relate. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Nora Wilder, a thirty-something Manhattanite plugging away at her job in a posh downtown hotel, can't help but wonder what it is she has to do to find a relationship. After a series of disastrous first dates, she meets Julien, a quirky Frenchman with a passion for living. Inevitably, Nora has to look inward before she can find a new outlook on life and most importantly, love.

Customer Reviews

She dates but nothing ever goes her way, though no fault of her own.
Raychel G. Terschluse
It's more of a drama about a young woman looking for love with wrong men and almost losing the right one because she is terrified of getting hurt again.
ADRIENNE MILLER
They can't seem to function without hammering down alcohol, pills or sucking on cigarettes.
Kevin Quinley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Raychel G. Terschluse on August 22, 2007
Format: DVD
Have you ever known that you would just love a movie without having seen it or heard anything about it? I was at Best Buy and I just saw the cover and recognized Parker Posey and bought it without thinking, a little impulsive. Or maybe I just always expect great things from Parker. From the beginning lyrics and opening scene I knew I was in for a treat.

Parker plays Nora Wilder, an average twentysomething female just kind of living her life, but not loving life. In the opening scene we see her get ready for a dinner party and she is walking around anxiously. Sipping red wine and staring at herself in the mirror we can tell that she is a little broken. She is beautiful but she doesn't know it. She is unsure of herself and is afraid.

All of her friends seem happy and Nora just kind of tip toes through life. She dates but nothing ever goes her way, though no fault of her own. She just wants to be truly loved, but she has no love for herself. Nora reminds me of myself and I am sure every woman has a little Nora in her.

But one night Nora bumps into a man that takes a notice to her and through all her fighting and insecurities she submits and lets herself get swept away. But she is so desperate for someone to love her that she has put a wall up because she is ultimately afraid of getting hurt and this has created somewhat of an anxiety disorder. There is a great scene that shows just how vulnerable she is. She is having dinner with a man and thinks that he is mad at her so she excuses herself to the bathroom and starts to yell at herself for making a mistake.She ultimately ruins the evening because she has to run home to take medication for her anxiety.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on June 28, 2007
Format: DVD
Nora (the usually whacked-out though always effective Parker Posey) is a late 30's Guest Relations manager in a groovy NYC hotel. She is at the end of her rope relationship-wise having spent the bulk of her romantic life avoiding love and having love avoid her. We all know a Nora: hungry for a man, a relationship but when a "good catch" (whatever that means to Nora) comes near, Nora thinks of a hundred reaasons why it wouldn't work and retreats behind the emotional wall she has psychically built for herself: a wall of regret and lame excuses held together with the cement of many years of tears and self-loathing.
Her mother, Vivien (the National treasure and director Zoë Cassavetes' mother as well, Gena Rowlands) encourages her to grab life by the neck and shake it until it releases something good and so Nora, uncharacteristically attends the party of one of her co-workers and in the process meets a laid-back, good-natured Frenchman, Julien (Melvil Poupaud of "Time to Leave") whose "Broken English" has Nora confusing his saying "I'm hungry" with "I'm Angry."
Nora and Julien spend an idyllic weekend in New York and director Cassavetes manages to avoid all the usual clichés as Nora basically freaks out, pulls back and unfurls again both emotionally and physically while Julien watches, reacts in a calming, encouraging manner much to Nora's surprise who is both attracted and repelled by Julien's coolness.
"Broken English" is a small film not likely to attract much attention but that would be a shame because what Cassavetes has managed to do is to make not only the ridiculous sublime but to also make, in it's quiet, well observed way... the sublime human and believable.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on September 27, 2007
Format: DVD
Writer/director Zoe Cassavettes' "Broken English" is an engaging yet understated slice of life that zipped in and out of arthouse theaters in early summer. Its message ("you must love yourself before love finds you") is not only the least virginal territory a screenwriter could dare to tread, it is the essence of gooey, sentimental sap. What really makes it worthwhile is its gorgeous shots of Paris and its star Parker Posey, who is as radiant as her acting ability is boundless. Just when you think you've seen all she can do, she proves you wrong and comes off effortless all the while.

Posey is Nora Wilder, a wine-guzzling train ready to jump the track. Sure, she may not have a man, but everything else seems in order - a steady job, a spiffy Manhattan apartment, healthy relationships with her friends and family. At her core, however, resides a deep-seated insecurity that in her mid-30s is coming to a head.

"What is wrong with me?," she asks herself. "Why can't I meet someone nice?"

She then concludes she must be the problem: "I think I must be doing something horribly wrong."

Her mother Vivien, played by acting legend Gena Rowlands, tries to help but only makes her feel more self-conscious. "The good ones get snapped up so quickly at your age," she says in a half-hearted effort to console her daughter.

Nora gets set up on dates that, despite herself, she agrees to go on. Whether she is the reason behind her lack of success is not as important as her lack of self-assuredness. When at last she finds something worth holding onto in a young Frenchman named Julien, played by Melvil Poupad, she finds herself at an unexpected crossroads, flakey as ever in the face of making tough decisions.
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