Nothing has turned out as expected for Nora, the drifting, doleful heroine played by Parker Posey in Broken English, writer-director Zoe Cassavetes' feature debut. Confronted in her mid-30s by a sinkhole of unaddressed expectations—only a few of them her own—Nora attempts to slog through a backlog of doubt and uncertainty. If urban female confusion is the new suburban male confusion, surely Posey's lost and wary eyes are the face of that angst. As a beautiful woman with the curious big-city habit of accepting loneliness as her lot, Posey is beguiling for the first third of Broken English; lovely, fragile, and tense, she's the lonely girl who screens phone calls and winces at compliments. But, alas, we must wait on for a fully realized investigation of what Nora's mother suggests is eating—and paralyzing—young women in the city today: too many choices. When the Manhattan man shortage threatens to doom the inexhaustibly stylish Nora (this girl has cute tops for days) to a life of closet rearrangement, a charming Frenchman swoops in with some grade-A Euro-lovin'. Nora's initially existential problems become nothing that a romantic pick-me-up can't fix.
Posey runs afoul of Justin Theroux.
Opens at Harvard Exit, Fri., July 13. Rated PG-13. 93 minutes.