To watch writer-director Sue Kramer’s debut, you’d think that Sex in the City — or, for that matter, the Kennedy administration — never happened. Though the movie’s basic premise suggests a wealth of taboo-smashing comic potential — bisexuality, incest, sleeping your way to the top — Kramer tiptoes around these and any other potentially interesting plot developments as if they were landmines. There’s a large segment of the population — male and female — who’d pay good money to see Heather Graham have a lesbian awakening on the big screen. Unfortunately, Gray Matters is a tame, grandma-safe rom-com that takes place in a fantasyland version of New York City where it’s always summer, where young people breathlessly quote movies from the ’40s and where the cabbies offer sage advice on your love life in a singsong Scottish accent.
Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo were dubbed the “Barbie and Ken” killers, the perfect vision of ’80s Anglo young love. In the film, when we meet Karla (Laura Prepon of That ’70s Show), she’s already served eight years in the clink for kidnapping and raping several girls, and we see, in a series of flashbacks, how she first met Paul (Misha Collins) at a veterinary conference and quickly fells for his unusual charm. Little does she know that Paul’s responsible for a series of rapes in Scarborough, Ontario. Karla’s jealous streak is only matched by an unwavering desire to keep Paul her man, no matter what. So when he begins to focus on Karla’s virginal sister, Tammy, Karla does the unthinkable and offers her up as a sort of Christmas present. What results is a disturbing twist on the all-American couple living out their suburban dream.
With four tables and four booths, this narrow eatery can handle around 30 customers at one time. Although the setting is diner-plain, the Korean cuisine is authentic, making few compromises for the American palate. Garlic is a key ingredient in at least half of the aromatic dishes from Hankuk’s kitchen. More than half of the menu items are either soups or preparations in broth. For example, duk-mandoo-guk is beef broth overflowing with scores of dumplings, rice cakes, beef, bits of egg yolk, green onion and garlic. The Korean fish stew is composed of large chunks of fish, small crab legs and squid, along with vegetables, red-pepper paste and garlic. Soybean-paste soup, buckwheat vermicelli in cold soup, and Japanese-style noodle soup all are available in their pure vegetarian state.