(Match plays at Sundance Cinemas today and tomorrow.)

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Heres Patrick Stewart, making a movie better again.
  • Here's Patrick Stewart, making a movie better again.

Building a film around Patrick Stewart is a great way to hide flaws in your filmmaking skills. Stewart is such a terrific, watchable actor that he even makes dreck like Star Trek: Nemesis seem better than it is. Even better, Match is a small-scale personal drama, and so Stewart dominates the production, imbuing it with his charm. You want to like Match, but those few moments when Stewart is off-screen remind you that the flaws are still there, and they can’t be forgiven so easily.

Stewart plays Tobi, a flamboyant dance instructor who agrees to be interviewed by a woman (Carla Gugino) and her husband (Matthew Lillard) for a graduate school project. He’s an old ham, set in his ways, and he relishes having an audience of two to seduce, but his showiness fades when he realizes the couple have a secret ulterior motive. The three actors play skillfully off each other, giving the lived-in sense of a theater ensemble on the final week of a long run. But writer/director Stephen Belber’s script fails to move the characters beyond their superficial character traits, and ultimately Match fails to go anywhere especially interesting or memorable.