Committed

on April 28, 2000 by Annlee Ellingson
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   Buoyed by a fun supporting cast, "Committed" stars Heather Graham as Joline, a young bride determined to make her marriage last, despite having no personal experience with commitment. Just 597 days after their wedding, her husband Carl (Luke Wilson) disappears. In a slump at the newspaper where he works--he's continually assigned to photograph food rather than hard-hitting news stories--he decides he needs some time to himself, sending Joline a postcard of a cactus with a smeared postage mark. Relying on her spiritual fortitude to guide her, she determines that he's in Texas, rents a car and makes a cross-country trip from New York City to find him.

   But that's only half of the journey. Once she finds him, Joline decides that Carl isn't ready to see her yet, so she sets up a stakeout, looking out for him at his new job and protecting him from ill-meaning strangers.

   As talented as Graham can be under the right direction (see "Boogie Nights"), she's not the most likable character here, eclipsed by charming performances by Casey Affleck as her brother Jay and Patricia Velasquez as Carl's mistress Carmen. Reluctantly supportive of Joline's spiritual quest, they lighten the tone when it could have gotten bogged down with her contrived ceremonies. Starring Heather Graham, Casey Affleck, Luke Wilson, Goran Vsnjic, Patricia Velasquez and Alfonso Arau. Directed and written by Lisa Krueger. Produced by Dean Silvers and Marlen Hecht. A Miramax release. Romantic comedy. Rated R for language. Running time: 98 min. Opens 4/28

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