Looking for Kitty **1/2
Ed Burns is back again, for the second time in less than two months, with "Looking for Kitty." And with a plot summery that sounds as if it's something different from Burns, watching it shows that it is really just more of the same. Maybe with a little more heart, but with two guys, bonding with one another, and trying to rediscover themselves. Only this time, they are joined by some other colorful character. Oh wait, that is still the formula for every Ed Burns movie ever made. But, this one seems to have a little more heart than usual, and for some reason I was drawn into the lives of all these characters. It's really not that bad a film at all.
Ed Burns plays Jack, a lonely ex-cop who still can't get over the death of his wife. Instead of being on the police force, Jack instead gets into the private investigator business, happy that his life will now be a little private. He gets a new case. It's Abe, a baseball coach from Peakskill, whose wife Kitty went out to lunch one afternoon and never came back. That was six months ago, and all Abe wants to do is confront her, and to find out exactly why she left him. He explains that she thought that he cared more about his baseball team than he did about her. This is proven when he makes a little bedroom in the attic for a mistreated teammate, and the fact that he also tutors one of them in calculus. Abe is a good man, but Kitty just wants a little bit of attention. And so, Abe pays Jack a little more money so he can tag along on the investigation, and the two form somewhat of a bond. Jack is a sad soul. He doesn't even like to eat inside of restaurants because he doesn't want to be seen by anyone. Instead, he eats outside, under awnings or on little benches. And they bump into a bunch of colorful characters, including the landlord KK, an attractive neighbor, and a drunken woman in town on business who continues to try and get Abe into bed. But most importantely, the two find things about one another that helps each of them in the longrun.
"Looking for Kitty" is a film about very lonely people, and how they handle all of it. Jack is still recovering over the loss of his wife, while Abe is trying to save his marriage before he ends up like Jack. And then there are the other characters, who we don't really know very well, but we know enough about them to know that they can't really go on the path they are on for much longer. The landlord comments that nobody has said "Goodnight" to him in ages. The woman in the bar is constantly drunk, and all she wants is to talk to someone. The neighbor doesn't really have much of an explaination, but a nighttime visit to Jack's house explains alot about her. The cast plays it all very well. Even Ed Burns bring a human side to his role, instead of being the immature thirty year old scared to grow up. But David Krumholtz as Abe is the heart and soul of the work. He is sweet, a generally good man, and all he wants is to see his wife. Not for revenge or to yell at her, but just to find out why. And I must give credit to Kevin Kash who plays KK, Jack's landlord. It's a small role, but an important one, and Kash plays his part well. As the comic relief from some of the drama, Kash managed to make me laugh a little bit. He did what he needed to do well.
And then there is the most important character of all, New York City. Burns loves New York City, and there are many famous New York landmarks here, including Katz's Deli. There was a not so subtle commentary on big corparations bringing down small businesses, which seemed sort of misplaced. It was obvious that Burns was trying to bring some sort of message across, but failed. It's clear that he loves landmark's in the city, from all the places that he eats outside of, but it didn't really fit with the rest. "Looking for Kitty" is better than "The Groomsmen," but not by very much. I admired Burns for the fact that he was trying to break away a little bit from his regular story, but sadly he ends up right back to the formula about halfway through.
I've come not to expect anything new from Burns. Maybe next time.