the Business of Strangers

In the words of Jay Sherman, “it stinks”. I’ve seen worse, of course, but why this got good reviews, I don’t know. Because it has slightly more psychological investigation than the actually crap movies? Because it explores power and abuse? These redeeming features unfortunately don’t make up for the unconvincing delivery of a not particularly strong plot.


A simple story well-told. Not as much a sexual awakening for Heidi as a parents’ nightmare running-away-from-home story. Coming of age seems more likely for Joe as he explores opportunities for human connection that so rarely come his way. Not as layered as Lantana or Father’s Den. Some moments are dull, clunky or sentimental. The performances, cinematography and directing are mostly assured and convincing. The themes of connection across distance are developed strongly as child-parent and emerging adult relationships are woven together.