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Flirt

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Flirt

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With Flirt, writer/director Hal Hartley explores new territory both structurally, by telling the same story three different ways in three different cities, and geographically, by moving outside of the New York/Long Island area for the first time in his career. Each of Flirt's three parts tells the story of an indecisive and promiscuous lover facing a crisis in his or her current relationship. The first part, set in New York and featuring a number of Hartley's regular players (Tate Donovan, Bill Sage, etc.), is strongest, probably because Hartley is on familiar turf. The second and third segments (the latter starring Hartley's wife Miho Nikaidoh) suffer from redundancy, which, in a project like this, is an avoidable flaw. All the segments have something to recommend them, however, and it's a testament to Hartley's talent that he makes it work as well as he does. Though unlikely to win any new fans, admirers of Hartley and of experimental moviemaking will not be disappointed.