Looking for Kitty (2004)

“I became a private investigator because I like the private part.”

The film Looking For Kitty examines the relationship that forms between two lonely men–high school baseball coach, Abe Fiannico (David Krumholtz) and the New York private investigator, Jack Stanton (Edward Burns–who also directed the film) hired to trace Abe’s runaway wife, Kitty (Ari Meyers). While at first the two men seem quite different from one another, it soon becomes apparent that they have much more in common than they realize.

Abe is still in love with his wife, and he’s reluctant to tell the story of how she left, but Kitty, apparently, ran off with British rock star Ron Stewart (Max Baker). Alone in New York, and faced with the bleakness of an anonymous hotel room, Abe pays an additional fee to tag along with Jack as he digs for clues to Kitty’s whereabouts. There are some uncanny parallels in the lives of Jack and Abe. Both men, for example are creatures of habit–they’re both stubborn and reluctant to try anything new, and they are both still in love with the wives they no longer have. While Abe’s wife simply ran off, Jack’s much-loved wife is dead.

It’s the small details of this subtle, bittersweet film that make it a joy to watch. The camera captures Jack’s emotions as he wakes up to yet another day in an empty bed. Jack’s aching loneliness remains present on the screen–but never mentioned. As a reluctant relationship gradually forms between the two men, Abe and Jack are able to analyze each other’s situation, and they both find it relatively easy to create solutions to the other man’s problems. Sweetly and gently amusing, Looking For Kitty is not Burns’s best film (for that see Sidewalks of New York), but nonetheless for Burns fans, it’s amusing, and well worth catching.

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