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Union Square (2012)

Release Date:
Friday, July 13, 2012

MPAA Rating:
UR

Genre:
Comedy, Drama

Starring:
Mira Sorvino, Tammy Blanchard, Michael Rispoli, Christopher Backus, Mike Doyle, Patti LuPone, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Harper Dill, Michael Sirow, Holden Backus

Written By:
Nancy Savoca, Mary Tobler

Director:
Nancy Savoca

Official Site:

Synopsis:
A reluctant reunion of two estranged sisters. One is on the verge of marriage; the other is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Both struggle with truths they're hiding from each other - and from themselves. Jenny has rejected her tumultuous family and cut off communication, seeking a more ordered life far from her roots in the Bronx. And she's almost ready to commit to her longtime fiancé when her sister Lucy - the personification of all that Jenny has been trying to flee - surprises her at a critical time. Lucy and Jenny's combustible reunion brings both of them to unforeseen places, shattering and reconstructing the worlds they have both carefully constructed.

Union Square (2012) | Review

Mythic Sisters
Darrel Manson

Content Image
Many creation myths (including in the Bible) portray a struggle between chaos and order. In Union Square those two forces are personified in sisters Jenny and Lucy.

We first meet Lucy who is a whirlwind of activity and emotion. She has come to Manhattan to connect with the married man she has been having an affair with (or perhaps only fantasizes that she has been). He is not at all cooperative about getting together with her. In her meltdown from rejection, she goes to her sister Jenny's apartment. Jenny is not happy to see her. Jenny has cut herself off from the family for the last few years. She is as ordered and disciplined as Lucy is free-wheeling. Once Lucy gets into the apartment, she decides she'll stay a few days (uninvited) and even begins inviting others to visit. Add to this Jenny's fiancè and the stage is set for the battle to play out yet again.

Naturally our first impressions may not last. We think we understand why Jenny has left her past behind. Lucy is so disruptive, that there is no pleasure in this reunion. But as the story develops, we begin to see Jenny as cold and distant. It is not just that she hasn't had contact with her family, she has been lying about them to her fiancè—telling him that they live in Maine and never come down to New York. (Actually, they are in the Bronx and just forty minutes away on the train.)

The two sisters each need a bit of what the other has. Lucy's life is very out of control. She needs a calming influence, but Jenny doesn't seem interesting in helping. Jenny has so distanced herself from nearly everyone that she spends most of her time in her apartment selling products online. She has not only walled off her family, but the rest of the world as well.

For most of us, that struggle between order and chaos is an internal battle. We want to be free like Lucy, but we also want to have the control of our lives like Jenny. Many people choose one of these epic forces as their model, others may alternate between them or even try to blend them. The ways we find to have those forces in our lives are really how that mythic struggle that so many cultures see in their primal stories is lived out. The stories of creation are not always about long ago. They can be the stories of our lives.

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