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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

September 20, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Something in the air?

It’s a funny movie phenomenon that every now and then, the same movie gets made twice — two Truman Capote movies a few years back, for example, or two Snow White movies earlier this year. And this week, it happens again — with two indie movies (both very good) with uncannily similar plotlines: “Hello I Must Be Going,” starring Melanie Lynskey, and “Liberal Arts,” starring Josh Radnor. Lynskey and Radnor both play youthful 35-year-olds who, at the beginning of their films, have unexpectedly ended a longterm relationship. Feeling rootless and and overwhelmed, both flee to a place of solace from their past: Lynskey’s character to her parents’ lavish suburban home; Radnor’s to the leafy, idyllic campus of his Ohio alma mater. Both find themselves, to their surprise, romantically and emotionally involved with a 19-year-old (played, respectively, by Christopher Abbott and Elizabeth Olsen). Both struggle to come to terms with the relationships; both find themselves, by the end of the movie, a little more grown-up. Funny, I saw both movies a couple of months ago (both were part of the Seattle International Film Festival) but didn’t think about the uncanny similarities until I sat down to write the reviews — because the movies themselves feel very different, and work very well. Both open here tomorrow; both are well worth a look. (And might make, some day, a fascinating double feature.)

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