Walking and Talking is a glibly observant comedy about the anxieties of romance and the evolution of a female friendship. Written and cut with an eye more toward jokes than on developing much emotional depth, writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s first feature is boosted by uniformly droll lead performances as well as by impressively confident filmmaking savvy.
Zippy script charts the worst of times in the relationship of best friends Amelia (Catherine Keener) and Laura (Anne Heche), young Manhattan professionals. Placing them at odds is Laura’s upcoming marriage to Frank (Todd Field), which gives Laura much less time to counsel Amelia about her romantic woes.
Having broken up with Andrew (Liev Schreiber), who’s recently gotten into phone sex, Amelia reluctantly goes out with video-store geek and horror-film devotee Bill (Kevin Corrigan). But when this liaison lasts only one night, Amelia becomes more insecure than ever.
Pic is loaded with delightfully fresh, disarmingly frank moments of its characters’ intimate lives. The two young actresses have been seen to favorable advantage before but haven’t had such an opportunity to fly until now. The men are secondary but solid as well. The clean images of Hal Hartley regular Michael Spiller gives the film an accessible and appealing look.