The Hottest State Review

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When William and Sarah meet in a New York bar it isn't quite love at first sight. Each is intrigued by the other, though cautious and unsure. Hawke's 1997 novel explored the compulsion of desire and the chill of rejection - to create a story of first love.


Ethan Hawke’s second feature as director is the kind of soulful, romantic vignette for which he has become known.

A sweet tale of first love and heartbreak, Hawke (who also takes on a small role) juxtaposes a vibrant New York City with the intensity of smalltown Texas, as 20 year-old aspiring actor William (Mark Webber) falls in love with singer Sarah (Catalina Sandino Moreno), only to get the heave-ho weeks later.

Unable to cope with his loss - both of his girlfriend and the father he had to leave as a small child - William’s is an evocative, visually seductive rite of passage with
a marked air of autobiography about it, and in the charismatic Webber, Hawke has discovered a talent to watch.

Ethan Hawke cements his reputation as a fine director with this solid little film.