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September 27, 1996 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-27

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 27, 1996 -9
Rising star Matt Ross cruises into the Hollywood limelight

Actor tells all about a career in
acting, life in NYC and Sean Penn

latt Ross and Caille Thorne star in "Ed's Next Move."

rreshing 'Ed' serves up a sweet indie treat

elly Xintaris
Arts Writer
"DISGRUNTLED MOVIEGOER seeks sweet, engaging
omantic comedy under two hours. Experience of cast not an
ssue. Preferably set in Greenwich Village, N.Y."
If this sounds remotely like anything you could handle, then
'Ed's Next Move" is the right movie for you. Free of preten-
ious and freer of residual "Generation X" stereotypes, here is
film that offers a refreshingly honest
ook at dating in the '90's. Despite a
hoestring budget and a cast ofnewcom- R
independent film writer / director
Walsh serves up a clever script and Ed'
;ome impressive performances.
The storyline is simple yet stream-
ined, as it follows title character Eddie
3rodsky's (Matt Ross) experiences as a
-ingle twentysomething in the big city. After being dumped
nceremoniously by his fiancee Anne (Cathy Curtin), who
iands him a detailed list of all his flaws, Eddie makes his
Tove. That is, he packs up and moves from his native
Wisconsin to an altogether foreign place, New York.
*ne of the more memorable scenes includes a dreamlike
onfrontation between Eddie and Anne. The two stand in a
ast field as they attempt to reconcile their conflicting feel-
ngs. Another couple, dressed executive-style, stands next to
hem, "translating" what they say to each other. This juxtapo-
ition of what Anne says to Eddie and what she means is a
ilarious take on interpersonal miscommunication.
At this point, the film kicks into a nice, lively pace as Eddie
earches for a livable room and complementary roommate.
ike twisted versions of the Seven Dwarves, Eddie meets
reedy, sloppy, and pot-smoking potential roomies before
ting an acceptable one. Kevin Carroll plays Eddie's
mate Ray Obregon, a womanizing yet likable guy, with
reat comic timing.
When Ray takes Eddie to a smoky party replete with


women who are damaged goods, a man asks a tipsy Eddie
what there actually is out in "Wyoming." Eddie replies that
Wisconsin has "Cows, fields and, uh, cheese."
The New Yorkers wonder if he's a poet, and Ross solidifies
his charming portrayal of a truly optimistic "nice guy."
Watching his conversations with a Ukrainian waitress, his
accident-proneness, even his interest in rice genetics - you
can't help but like the guy.
Walsh contrasts Eddie's practical, good guy persona with
that of Ray, who is comparatively cyn-
ical and ego-protective when it comes
EVIEW to dating. When Eddie keeps running
into Lee, a mysterious brunette (played
s Next Move with marvelous intensity by Callie
*** Thorne), an intriguing love story mate-
At the Michigan Theater rializes. Eddie goes after an incredibly
guarded woman who not only has a
Neanderthal-like boyfriend, but also
fears his, well, niceness.
A jazzy soundtrack keps things on a light-hearted level,
not to mention the appearances of Lee's band. The real-life
trio, called "Ed's Redeembing Qualities," spouts lyrics to the
effect of "You stole my rotebook paper, so I had to jump off
a cliff."Aside from such uirky scenes, the film remains gen-
uine without delving into the philosophical.
Ross and Thorne radiate a youthful chemistry that begs for
elaboration, but no such luck. Eddie's risk finally pays off-
he's happy, and we're happy for him. If only some of the con-
versations were extended, his success would have carried
more thematic weight. Clocking in at only 88 minutes, "Ed's
Next Move" compresses several locations and short scenes
together, the result of only 25 days of filming. More lines for
Lee's idiotic boyfriend (Jimmy Cummings), for example.
would certainly have provided more laughs.
Taken on its own terms, however, "Ed's Next Move" is a
worthwhile cinematic experience, and bodes well for some
promising new talents. If ever there were a film proving that
nice guys don't always finish last, this is it.

By Kelly Xintaris
Daily Arts Writer
Actor Matt Ross cruises down
Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles,
answering interview questions with all
the charming self-assurance of some-
one who is going places. If his portray-
al of Eddie Brodsky in the recently
released film "Ed's Next Move" is any
indication, Ross is headed in the right
The promising young newcomer was
in Los Angeles on Tuesday for the pre-
miere of "Ed's Next Move," an inde-
pendent picture that won critical
acclaim at the prestigious Sundance
Film Festival.
Ross felt "very
fortunate" for (Genet
the success of
the film, refer- films ... a,
ring to it as "a
cute movie." people W1
Instead of
copying early very self,
X" era films reflective
like "Reality
Bites" or-Mat
"Singles," the "Ed
movie centers
on a delightful-
ly offbeat guy searching for love in
New York City. "The idea of
(Generation X) films doesn't bother me
because they tend to be about people
who are very self-reflective - people
who are going through times in their
lives where they really analyze what the
hell they're doing with their lives, and I
find that to be really accurate for a lot
of my friends," Ross said.
After viewing the natural ease with
which Ross plays Eddie, one has to
wonder: Is he anything like the charac-
ter he plays? Ross chuckled at the ques-
tion. He explained that when a critic at
a Toronto screening asked it, he replied:
"It's called ACTING."
Ross shares the title character's expe-
rience of living in the East Village and
trying to find an apartment in New
York, which he said is "probably unlike
finding an apartment in any other
American city. There's scarce property
and it's very expensive" (Sound famil-
iar?) Eddie's small town roots also par-
allel Ross's own small town Oregon
background, though Ross has also lived
in Italy, England and Africa.
The similarities basically end there.


"In terms of (Eddie's) naivete and inno-
cence, I think I'm a little more jaded.
Jaded and dark. I'm sort of cynical, I
think. He's certainly optimistic," Ross
pointed out.
Referring to the scene in which Eddie
tries to pick up his love interest, Lee
(Callie Thorne), at the Yalta cafe, Ross
admitted "The truth of the matter is, I
don't know that I would approach some-
one that I didn't know in a cafe anyway
I'm probably too shy to do that"
And what of the other cast members,
including Kevin Carroll, who plays
Ed's roommate, Ray ? "We're definitely
all friends." Ross even used Thorne as
the female lead in
his short film,
3tion X) which was shot in
New York.
'e about Though Ross
went to Julliard
o are and has lived in
New York for a
while now, lie
joked, "I'm get-
ting tired of liv-
ing in a. box, I
Ross, star of have to say. I like
s Next Move" it better than
L.A., but it's
wearing thin."
Since "Ed's Next Move" was shot in
1994, Ross has been in "RC.U." and
"12 Monkeys," in which he played an
animal rights activist. Of that particular
role, Ross commented, "When you only
have a couple of lines you're relegated
to the background. It's not that much
fun, you know, it's like you're standing
around all the time picking your nose."
Comparing the- offscreen environ-
ment of "PC.U" to college, Ross said,
"Everyone was getting drunk, going to
parties, going to bars, running around,
you know. Kids with money." After his
series of movie work, Ross went back
to the theater, which he started doing at
the age of 12. In the future, Ross aspires
to become "an actor / writer-director ...
kind of like what Sean Penn has
evolved into."
Ross admires Penn not only for his
talent, but also because he considers him
"someone who sort of acted, and made
enough money to support his film
habit." Along with the physical resem-
blance between Ross and Madonna's ex,
envisioning a similar ascent t6 stardom
is hardly a stretch. After all, this is a man
who is going places.

The many faces of Matt Ross.

Author uncovers Microsoft's myths

lizabeth Lucas
Arts Writer
Call it real-life "Microserfs." A year
fter Douglas Coupland's novel about
ife in the computer industry comes
red Moody's "I Sing the Body.
lectronic,' a nonfiction account of
hat really happens at Microsoft.
oody vividly describes a year's work
y one product development group -
nd ensures that his readers will never
their CD-ROMs for granted again.
ontinuing the "Microserfs" parallel,
oody described his original intentions
s literary. "I wanted to try to capture,
e way a novelist would, what it's like
work at Microsoft," he said in a
ecent interview with The Michigan
To achieve this, he spent a year
ttending every group meeting, reading
very e-mail and talking extensively
each member of the group, a fact
a contributes to the book's in-depth
letail and wide-ranging perspective. "I
hink a lot of them felt isolated and
vere glad to have someone to talk to'
vloody said, describing the Microsoft
Want to know
the whole scoop
* on the
Read the next
edition of
SPORTS Monday,
only in.
the Daily.

Fred Moody
Reading at Borders.
Tonight at 7 o'clock.
employees' attitude toward his work.
In 1992, Moody studied a product
group that was developing the first CD-
ROM encyclopedia for children. The
employees in this group were under
extraordinary constraints, since they
were creating a product that was the
first of its kind, and wanted to incorpo-
rate multimedia effects that had never
before been used - not to mention
dealing with Microsoft's intense pres-
sure to finish products on time.

Moody entered an unusual situation,
and unsurprisingly, found it quite dif-
ferent from his expectations. "I was
quite familiar with how strange the
company was ... I knew there'd be high
energy and intelligence, but I was sur-
prised to find how loosely structured
and unsupervised it was," he said.
The, product group Moody studied
was given a firm deadline and made
occasional reports to supervisors.
However, for the most part, the mem-
bers were on their own, which led to a
chaotic atmosphere. Much of this
stemmed from the conflicts between
designers, who decided how the prod-
uct would look and what it would do,
and developers, who wrote the comput-
er code for the program. As Moody
wryly cpmmented, "It seemed from day
See MICROSOFT, Page 10

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- --- --r -- .

5 " 9
The MTV Choose or Lose Bus rolls into town on
Friday, September 27, 11AM to 2PM on the service
drive between Shapiro Library and West Hall.
Volunteers will be on hand to register new voters.
Stop by and receive a Continental Cablevision/MTV
Choose or Lose T-Shirt*. Sponsored by Continental
Cakblvision in nartnership with the U of M


F £ . . 'V 31 . - 1.i~ - rf ..:iY* ,L. #~r tr rte: :. I


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