On its surface, The Four-Faced Liar isn’t more than comfort food; familiar characters in a familiar milieu behaving familiarly. Four twenty-somethings in New York, dating, living their twenty-something lives and finding their twenty-something selves. Trip and his lesbian gal-pal, Bridget, live in Bohemian bliss (isn’t it cute that we only have one pot?). Like all straight guys, Trip is a relationship retard while Bridget is a slut whose feelings have never run deeper than a puddle. And, uh-oh! Is it possible, just possible that new-to-town Molly, who is living the perfect, white-bread existence with Greg, might just be developing feelings for Bridget? And Bridget might be developing actual feelings? Yup, comfort food. Mac and cheese. Wait. Hold on, did she just say something with actual wit? And did he just totally surprise me with what he did with his eyes there? Why yes, indeedy! Turns out that this mac is actually made with truffle oil and seasoned with some rare spice.
And for that, credit goes to the exceptionally talented ensemble (Daniel Carlisle, Todd Kubrak, Emily Peck, Liz Osborn, and especially Marja-Lewis Ryan, who also wrote the screenplay. Her crackling dialogue elevates the proceedings tremendously). Jacob Chase’s direction is deft and remarkably skillful given that he, like his cast, is under twenty-five. And Danny Grunes’ cinematography, which renders New York a sixth character, is also first-rate.
While The Four-Faced Liar has nothing especially new to say, it somehow manages to be delightfully full of surprises, right down to its final frame.
The Four-Faced Liar screens Saturday, July 17 at Outfest. Call 213-480-7065 or visit Outfest.org for tickets. And be sure to check out the amazing silent auction items at outfest.org/auction.
-- EDDIE SHAPIRO
Previously > An Out Outfest Selection: Children of God