"Beautifully acted comedy about a very modern-day obsession."
This film has the best premise in years. While Sliding Doors was about the ramifications of missing a train, this bold debut from director Kwietniowski takes off when Giles De'Ath (yes, really) accidentally wanders into the wrong cinema at his local multiplex.De'Ath is an eccentric British novelist and academic who belongs more to the end of the nineteenth century than the twentieth. He planned to see the latest EM Forster adaptation after being locked out of his apartment. When College Hot Pants II begins instead, the sight of bit player Ronnie Bostock (Jason Priestley) changes his life completely.
...Long Island is about many things, but mostly obsessive love. Based on a novel by Gilbert Adair, we begin by laughing at De'Ath's charming and anachronistic naiveté - this is a man who buys a video recorder without realising you need a TV to go with it. But De'Ath quickly learns to use modern technology to his own advantage. The comedy of De'Ath's awakening occurs against the backdrop of a stereotypically grey London. But when Kwietniowski takes us to the beaches of Long Island, where Bostock lives, the tone becomes bleaker. To his credit, he brings the film to a realistic and satisfying close, without it becoming depressing or sacrificing the audience's goodwill towards the two main characters.
John Hurt is excellent as the widower who finds love in the most unexpected of places. Refreshingly, his character's "coming out" is completely taken for granted and no issue is made of the object of his obsession being male. Bostock is similar to the character Priestley played in Beverly Hills 90210, but the part is so well-written and performed that it avoids being one-dimensional.Kwietniowski deftly weaves a deceptively complex tale, without losing sight of his comic premise.