Review of Union Square


Movie Review: "Union Square" --

Rating: NR (No Rating)
Length: 80 minutes
Release Date: July 13, 2012
Directed by: Nancy Savoca
Genre: Drama
3 out of 5 Stars

"Union Square" is the story of two estranged sisters from a tumultuous family. The main characters, Jenny (Tammy Blanchard) and Lucy (Mira Sorvino) reunite at a time when Jenny is ready to commit to her longtime fiancé.
The reunion of the two sisters is complicated. Jenny is on the verge of getting married, and she finally feels like her life is in order. Lucy, on the other hand, is close to a nervous breakdown and looking to Jenny for support. Jenny has rejected her family, originally from the Bronx, for a more ordered lifestyle that is far from what she grew up with, and her sister coming back into her life at such an important junction takes her aback. Jenny is unable to turn her sister away, although this causes problems, because her fiancé has never met anyone in her family.

Lucy comes to Jenny, updating her on all of the family and friends back in the Bronx, despite the fact that Jenny is try to avoid that life. What follows is a story of trust, relationships, and differences in social classes that focuses on the two becoming reacquainted.

Moviegoers who enjoy long movies that focus on relationships are sure to find this film to be entertaining. The drama follows Lucy's point of view, showing her reacting poorly to news while shopping and ending up on her younger sister's doorstep. The story is furthered by the fact that Jenny told her fiancé that she grew up in Maine, essentially attempting to erase her family from her life.
"Union Square" is an indie film, meaning it doesn't have the large budget of a box office hit. Because of this, there are occasional issues with the settings or restrictions due to screenwriting capabilities. The movie is still driven by the characters and story line, and it has a great cast that helps round out the lack of funds for the creation of the film.

Mira Sorvino is widely regarded as the actress that steals the show in this movie, since she plays the big-mouthed older sister, Lucy, who causes all of the problems for Jenny. Fortunately, the character also has layers, so she is portrayed as smart and sensitive, not just as a two-dimensional character who is brass and overly self-confident.

The film stays inside Jenny's apartment much of the time, which doesn't lend to the overall feel of the film's location. When the filming moved outside, it led to a much more open feel and one that is easier for audience members to appreciate.
The movie is directly looking at the study of families and class consciousness, showing how Jenny is eager to give up her past in the Bronx for a more appropriate and defined lifestyle with her fiancé. Lucy isn't ready to give up her sister, though, and frequently argues with her about giving up her past and trying so hard to get rid of who she is. The story is perfect for those who like a less-than-ideal situation that makes characters grow to love, explore, and experience revelations in their personalities.

The push and pull between siblings is the main driving force in this movie, and Sorvino and Blanchard perform the roles in a way that allows you to explore their family bond. Lucy is bold and a little bit perky, which is far from the role of Jenny, who seems very serious and calm. The story becomes complicated when Mike, Jenny's fiancé, thinks that Lucy isn't from New York, and the truth becomes harder for Jenny to conceal without making a bigger mess of the situation.
Over the course of the film, Lucy discusses the wedding and how Jenny has changed. Lucy wonders why the intimate wedding Jenny is throwing is only family and friends that aren't her own family, and Jenny goes so far as to ask that Lucy doesn't tell their mother.

Movie lovers will enjoy this film as a drama that has twists and turns during the development of the characters. Lucy is a force to be reckoned with, so she helps push the movie along and forces her sister to open her eyes to a past she'd rather leave behind.

Starring Mira Sorvino, Tammy Blanchard, Mike Doyle, and Michael Rispoli, the cast delivers a performance that focuses on family, relationships, and social class differences in New York.