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Finding North

Director:Tanya Wexler
Writer:Kim Powers
Cowboy Booking; 95 minutes; unrated
Release:6/99
Cast:Wendy Makkena, John Benjamin Hickey

Travis Furlong is naked and ready to jump. Brooklynite bank-teller Rhonda Portelli, equipped with big hair, big attitude, and still living with her parents, sees him and takes an instant liking to the suicidal young man (he changes his mind and hails a taxi instead of plunging into the cold East River). It is only after Rhonda (Wendy Makkena) has followed Travis (John Benjamin Hickey) to Texas on a passionate whim that she discovers he's gay.

Finding North is a pat comedy-drama about the developing buddy relationship between the lonely straight lady and the sensitive gay man who has gone to the hometown of his deceased lover, seeking closure via a series of cassette tapes the dead man has left behind. A bit too formulaic, and relying on a few too many stereotypes (sassy Brooklyn girl, radiantly troubled homosexual guy, sweet down-home style Texans, etc.), Finding North manages to retain some decency based on the strength of its two leads. In another world, with another script, they could really hit it off.


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