Charlotte Sometimes

This low-budget indie is an understated look at the romantic ins and outs of four Asian-Americans living in Los Angeles: of the first three characters, Michael is a man of few words who secretly desires his tenant Lori; Lori, in turn, is involved with her yuppie boyfriend Justin. It's obvious that Michael and Lori are – more likely than not – meant for each other, but oh well.

Enter the fourth player, Darcy, a mysterious stranger who hooks Michael like a fish while keeping him at a strange distance. Halfway through the film we learn just who Darcy really is, and although that does make for some interesting drama as we watch poor Michael try to figure out what's going on while we already know the truth, there isn't enough suspense to keep the story alive.

There's not much else to Charlotte Sometimes (which takes its title from a Cure song; there's nobody named Charlotte in the film). Michael Idemoto is a charismatic presence, the dialogue is spare and true, and it's nice to see a film where the characters' race remains incidental. The only real problem is that, aside from Idemoto, neither the other characters nor the actors who play them make much of an impression. The film is also in dire need of a little levity.