They gave in to their deepest desires, but can they overcome their biggest fears? Mark Ruffalo (Windtalkers), Kathleen Robertson ("Girls Club") and Maya Stange (Garage Days) deliver stunning performances in this steamy, highly charged film that explores the passions of youth and theirinevitable price. When New York animator Coles (Ruffalo) meets Sam (Stange), the attraction is immediate. And when Sam invites her hot friend Thea (Robertson) to bed with them, it's a dreamcome true until ugly secrets destroy the carefree threesome. Ten years later, their very different lives converge again and Coles realizes how much he still loves Sam. But can he risk everything to tell her the naked truth?
A sharply acted film that manages to be both sexy and thoughtful, XX/XY
asks uncomfortable questions about the tricky business of passion. The opening half-hour details an immature college relationship between Mark Ruffalo and Maya Stange; cut to 10 years later, when the two meet again as "grown-ups" and have no idea what to do with their old feelings. Director Austin Chick bravely allows his characters to be messed-up and uncertain, and the actors respond with complex performances: Ruffalo confirms the promise of his You Can Count on Me
breakthrough, Stange is a heartbreaking Australian discovery, and Petra Wright shines as Ruffalo's new girlfriend, who has more to her than we first suspect. This film was somewhat lost in the shuffle of 2002's indie releases, but it deserves a look for its clear-eyed embrace of all the gray areas that often get left out of movies. --Robert Horton