Film » Screens

Nighty Night

Unmade Beds' European hipsters will put you to sleep



In the opening scene of Unmade Beds, 20-year-old bisexual Axl (Fernando Tielve) wakes up next to a girl he doesn't recognize, wondering if he slept with her the night before. It's a typical morning for the kid from Madrid who's trying to find himself in London. That's half of the movie's story. The other part belongs to Vera (Déborah François), a French transplant who works in a bookstore but tells boys she meets that she's a flight attendant.

While their paths rarely cross (until the end of the film, of course), Axl and Vera share a warehouse with other young European hipsters who are hanging on to their adolescence. Unmade Beds often plays like a series of vignettes featuring the pair going through their daily lives. Scenes switch back and forth between them: She works and flirts with a guy she meets at a club; he trails a real-estate agent who may be his long-lost father.

The boys and girl on the brink of adulthood here aren't as wayward as most of their indie-film contemporaries. Many of them have jobs, even if they do spend most of their free time hanging out in clubs, drinking and looking for love (or at least sex). Director Alexis Dos Santos lingers on his characters, but he doesn't quite know what to do with them. They talk, they smoke, they drink and they make love, but there isn't much conflict — unless young twentysomethings enjoying their last grab at responsibility-free living counts. (These kids aren't all that fucked up, and Axl's daddy issues really don't amount to much.)

It doesn't help that Axl is needy and annoying (he tends to forget people's names, especially the ones he's in bed with), and Vera is boring and aloof (her face is perpetually blank, whether she's having sex or stocking books). Whatever resolution Unmade Beds offers takes place in the bedroom; characters hang out there, fuck there and make art there. They'll also put you to sleep there.

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