Conventioneers

Romance blooms at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York, as a Texas delegate (Matthew Mabe) launches an affair with an old college pal (Woodwyn Koons) who's now a left-wing protester. As contrived as this premise may sound (and it isn't much better on-screen), writer-director Mora Stephens manages to push the odd-couple story in some interesting directions. Both the man and the woman are unhappy with their long-term partners' political apathy, and their sexual fling is fueled by a common passion even though their ideals are directly opposed. This was made by students at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, but there isn't a hint of youthful idealism; the movie's downbeat view of American political discourse culminates in a nervy, remarkably nasty ending. 95 min.

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