'Come Early Morning' reviewed | The Moviegoer

Friday, November 10, 2006

'Come Early Morning' reviewed

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2006 at 12:33 PM




Stephen Holden, NY Times

“Come Early Morning” is Ms. Adams’s filmmaking debut. She knows how these people speak and has a finely tuned awareness of their relationship to an environment where beer flows like water and the houses have cheap furniture and aluminum siding.

The minimal story follows Lucy as she meets and beds a new man, Cal (Jeffrey Donovan), who is a cut nicer than her usual hookups. Cal, who just moved to the area and is doing roofing for his uncle, treats Lucy with a courtliness that both infuriates and embarrasses her. He takes her frog fishing, cooks up a frog’s-leg feast and enlists her help in painting toy models of old cars (his passion). Her defenses begin to crumble.

The principal question hovering through this teensy but pungent slice of life is whether Lucy’s self-destructive mechanism will kick in. And if it does, how soon will the patience of her potential knight in shining armor wear thin? The mixture of Southern machismo and tenderness in Mr. Donovan’s performance makes his working-class charmer almost too good to be true, or least too good for Lucy, whom Ms. Judd plays with a vindictive edge that risks making her unsympathetic. And that takes courage.

Lael Loewenstein, LA Times

Avowedly mining bits of her own Arkansas background for inspiration, Adams has crafted a fully realized portrait of a woman in transition. Her dialogue feels sharp and authentic, its rhythm and cadence faintly echoing Kevin Smith, who directed Adams in her best-known film, 1997's "Chasing Amy." Like "Amy" it raises salient questions about gender roles and female promiscuity.

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