Easier with Practice stars Brian Geraghty in a sensational tale about loneliness, eroticism, and the search for companionship. Geraghty plays “Davy Mitchell,” a soon-to-be-published writer on a book tour with his brother, Sean (Kel O'Neill).
Davy and Sean are different people—the latter never wanting for confidence and the former always lacking it. Stopping at unfamiliar, out-of-the-way book clubs and eating at truck stop diners and run-down restaurants, the book tour seems to be living up to its unexciting expectations. Spending money staying at impersonal hotels, it seems to be just another semi-rewarding chapter in a word-artist's lonely life that never really changes for the better or the worse.
Then Davy receives a phone call. The mysterious woman on the other end of the line is named Nicole. All Davy knows is, she's a phone nympho. It's a private call. There is no callback number. What starts as a weird and passionate turn at telephone eroticism turns into an obsession, and then on into something much stronger.
Before the anonymity of the internet, there was the phone that swept away the late night hours, resulting in a self-made sticky mess and a need for more Kleenex. The 1-900 numbers used to do the best business. But even with the advent of the second life-starting, perv-inspiring, troll-attracting world wide web, the phone still plays a vital role. Ever since Tommy Tutone’s 1982 super-hit, 867-5309 is still the most famous phone number in America.
The internet may allow every balding, back-hairy, dishonest man without a smooth line to upload a fake pic and pretend to be some gal's “tall, dark, and handsome.” But the internet is cheap. The phone is a step up. There is a special power in hearing a human voice. Listening, you can pick up on the subtle nuances that are lost in reading dead words on a lifeless screen.
Up until the end, the character of Davy consumes the entire focus of the picture. From there, Nicole becomes the focus, alongside Davy, in an ending that will have you questioning how you should feel from a mixture of expectedly prevalent emotions. Not until the end is it clear what is meant by “easier with practice.”
It is the character of Davy that deserves the bulk of our attention. Davy is agoraphobic. Crowds of people intimidate him. When in public, he takes his drinks in quick shots to hide his way too noticeable nervous ticks...and to remind himself that “taking the edge off” with a few drinks is never a bad idea for him. Davy understands himself. He has a harder time understanding everyone else and why socializing is such an uphill battle.
Unlike his party-loving brother who just seems to be along for the ride of life as surely as he is along for a book tour that he cares nothing for, Davy hates unfaithfulness, sleaziness, and those “call of the wild” rendezvous without consequences or strings attached. He just wants to give his heart to that one woman who will treasure it above all else. Many a cyber-secluded man with a bad dating track record will understand Davy well.
But “too good to be true” is a phrase that is one and the same with the meaning of the word “fantasy.” There need be only one component of your fantasy accounted for in real life – a voice, an image, or a series of letters printed on a page or viewed on a screen – and your mind takes care of the rest. The world you will create from desire will transcend all that could ever have been had in reality. Soon, your heart will enter a realm from which only the pain of a broken heart will serve as the doorway back home.
To be spotted amidst breathtaking photography and relaxing scenery are ideal filming locations that, like the film's music picks, could not have been better selected. Riding on a crisp and clean choreography is a story that is as interesting as the next chapter in the lives of your roommate or some of your closest friends. The amiable Marguerite Moreau as “Samantha” and Jeanette Brox as “Sarah” are integral parts of a story that will have far more admirers than to be expected in any independent film.
Audiences will find very little graphic sexual content, despite the movie’s (arguably undeserved) NC-17 rating, a rating attained not from nudity, but from sexually explicit phone sex dialogue. Easier With Practice is a phenomenal film, holding its own against a gamut of big budget contenders.
Grade: A+ (4 stars) Recommended!
Rated: NC-17 (due to graphic phone sex dialogue)
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Summary: On a desperate road trip to promote his as yet unpublished novel, Davy Mitchell's life takes a surprising turn when he is seduced into a phone sex relationship with a mysterious woman named Nicole.
Starring: Brian Geraghty "Davy Mitchell," Kel O'Neill "Sean," Marguerite Moreau "Samantha," Jeanette Brox "Sarah," Kathryn Aselton "Nicole," Jenna Gavigan "Josia"