"Some Velvet Morning" is essentially a hybrid of cinema and theater, joining the tradition of conversation-centric movies such as "My Dinner with Andre."

There's a camera, two actors and a script, with the greatest visual embellishment consisting of the contrast between a character's red dress and the colorless surroundings.

Unlike "Andre" and other movies to have perfected the form, this one is dragged down by the solipsistic central figures, meandering exchanges and an outrageously stupid narrative decision that can't be revealed here.

"Velvet Morning" is a two-hander about an encounter between a man named Fred (Stanley Tucci) and a woman named Velvet (Alice Eve) over the course of an afternoon in a New York City townhouse. Velvet was once Fred's mistress and the latter has shown up to tell her that he's left his wife.

There's a lot more to the film than that, as you'd expect from a movie written and directed by Neil LaBute, who returns to his sardonic social observer form after a weird excursion into low-rent Hollywood territory with remakes of "The Wicker Man" and "Death at a Funeral."

Tucci and Eve ably trade verbal volleys but the movie feels like an acting and writing workshop more than anything else.

 

Some Velvet Morning

Directed by Neil LaBute

Starring Stanley Tucci, Alice Eve

Not Rated