TO CROSS THE RUBICON was filmed in 1991, shown at film festivals in 1992, given theatrical release in select cities in 1994, and released on home video in 1995. It's a heartfelt but flawed story about single women in their 30s, looking for romance.
Claire (Lorraine Devon) and Kendall (Patricia Royce) have successful careers but are unsatisfied because they are single. While both women are intelligent, Claire is book-smart and Kendall is street-smart. Though they have little problem finding men to date, none of the men are stable, ready for
commitment, or willing to be with a successful career woman. The two women have a strong bond, which is tested when Claire begins to date Kendall's ex-lover David (J.D. Souther). Kendall reacts by dating a 20-year-old musician who is exciting but irresponsible. Both women eventually end the
relationships, deciding that it's all right to hold out for what they really want. They remain close friends with each other and are happy with their careers and their independence.
TO CROSS THE RUBICON is talky but not dull. The screenplay, written by Devon and Royce, is literate though occasionally silly. Character development is strong, and Claire's and Kendall's strengths and flaws are well-developed and authentic. The female point of view is a treat for viewers who are
used to seeing films written by and for men, but it also contributes to the film's major flaw. For example, in one scene, the musician begins weeping uncontrollably when he realizes that when his romance with Kendall fails, the two can no longer be friends. The scene is a female fantasy, much as
teenage sex comedies are filled with male fantasies, and satisfying as it may be, it is not as realistic as the actions of the female characters. The open ending compensates somewhat. It affirms the strength in both women but does not take the easy way out by having either of them find Mr. Right.
For a low-budget independent production, TO CROSS THE RUBICON has very strong performances. The black-and-white cinematography is also high quality, though the setting, Seattle, which is usually gorgeous on film, is not used to advantage. While the film is not completely satisfying, it is
interesting and original. It was a labor of love for Devon, Royce, and director Barry Caillier, and shows promise for their future projects. (Sexual situations, profanity.)
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