Broken English

Director: Zoe Cassavetes
Screenwriters: Zoe Cassavetes

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


Nora isn't broken; she just acts that way. She is actually sexy, funny, and creative, and her only fault is being cursed with that modern affliction of wanting more out of life than what others want for her. She must suffer quietly her best friend's "perfect marriage," a job she has outgrown, and a mother who constantly reminds her of it all. After yet another disastrous date, Nora meets Julian, a quirky Frenchman who won't take no for an answer, and they embark on a romance that could either be exactly what she needs…or send her over the edge for good. For Nora, the edge is not far away.

The perfect recipe for a romantic comedy includes two actors with charisma and chemistry, and writer/director Zoe Cassavetes has found them in Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud. Posey's near-slapstick antics are well timed and cut with the right amount of sexy neuroticism to play perfect counterpoint to Poupaud's breezy, European confidence. Like The Philadelphia Story in its day, Broken English isn't afraid to show Nora and Julian's flaws in a big way, ensuring they always remain human and vulnerable. With Broken English, Cassavetes has reinvented an old genre and given it a decidedly new millennial spin, concocting a totally enjoyable and fresh approach to the well-explored "love story."

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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