Rated: R | Running Time: 92 Minutes
On Digital Download and DVD August 11, 2015
I will always admit that as a fan of Star Trek, and more importantly for this review, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the challenge for me in seeing Patrick Stewart in any other movie is to separate him from his role as Jean-Luc, Piccard that is, from The Next Generation franchise. It was not very difficult when the movie “Match” started, mostly because he was spouting advice to a bunch of ballet dancers, but oh, that Jean-Luc, I mean Patrick Stewart accent! It is so awesome, as is he, in being able to transform you instantly into the role he is in, and for this movie it’s a very good thing because two of the roles in the movie were perfect, while one character, okay, Matthew Lillard, maybe sidelined by the actual role he was playing, lagged a bit.
Let’s start with the story…
Patrick Stewart plays Tobi. He’s a weird dude who is also a famous ballet dancer and instructor. He’s also a loner who likes to save his clipped fingernails in a jar. Enter Lisa (Carla Gugino) and Mike (Matthew Lillard). They set up a meeting with Tobi under the guise of interviewing him about his past dancer life, but we quickly see they have an ulterior motive, and probably aren’t the interviewers they pretend to be. Sure, the “interview” gives Tobi a chance to expound on tales of promiscuity and his life in the 1960’s, but quickly things go awry as our couple pries a little more into his life, start to hone in on one specific relationship, and yup, now we know Lisa, and more specifically Mike, are looking for the answer to one question. Mike goes berserk, Lisa stays with Tobi a while and learns more about his life, the love of dancing, her own life challenges, eventually there is a surprise that didn’t come off as a surprise to me, and the movie ended happily ever after when I would have shifted it to a darker side, but what kind of feel-goodness would that be?
Sure I’m a little vague with with my synopsis, mostly because I suppose I shouldn’t give away the “surprise” plot twists, though there is part of me thinking I should just give it all away because most of it is telegraphed throughout the film. I guess, though, I’ll just get to the good and the bad.
Let’s get the bad out of the way…
For me it was the Mike character. Lillard is an okay actor, and yes, the character of Mike is going through some mental anguish, but the bizarre violent outburst, followed by the solo taxi ride, and the obligatory feel-goodness all just seemed over-the-top and all over the place. I know his character was necessary for the movie, but sadly I thought his character also took away from the goodness of the film.
With that, let’s get to the good…
Patrick Stewart and Carla Gugino. Tobi is a fascinating character, and Patrick Stewart is able to expand him to his fullest. You can see his internal struggle to maintain his loner status, but there is also a desire to finally share his life, his triumphs, his challenges, his ability to sexually please a lady, and Lisa is able to bring all of this out of him. He also has a kind of life wisdom that Lisa desperately needs, trapped in a marriage that the love seems to have disappeared from, and needing her own release to find her inner soul, and Carla Gugino does a wonderful job in showing the transformation Lisa can make with just a little prodding into her soul.
“Match” is based off of a Tony-nominated play, and with that it’s not a film where locations come into play because most of the story takes place in Tobi’s apartment. That’s fine, for the most part, as the movie ends up being about the discovery of life Tobi and Lisa must come to terms with thanks to the dysfunctional lives both of them are living. The character of Mike is there to kind of help things along, but almost serves as a “Come on now” distraction at times.
Thanks in most part to the wonderful acting of Patrick Stewart, with fantastic help from Carla Gugino, “Match” gets 4 stars out of 5 from me. It’s a drama, with some decent comedic moments thrown in for good measure, just don’t expect Tobi to say “Engage!” and Carla to worry about her little spy kids.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!