The intimate romantic drama "28 Hotel Rooms" should prove a fine calling card for its first-time writer-director, Matt Ross.
This tender, skillfully performed chamber piece tracks the more than two dozen times — over an indeterminate number of years — a complementary pair of otherwise engaged lovers meet up and bed down across a series of cities and hotel rooms.
It's deeper, warmer and far less tawdry than it might sound as the pair, a jaunty novelist (an appealing Chris Messina) and a circumspect numbers cruncher (Marin Ireland), chance-meet on coincidental business trips, sleep together, then continue the pattern as their out-of-town work commitments intersect.
But what starts as a no strings, low-information fling (she's married, he's got a girlfriend) begets an emotional connection that upends their original expectations, not to mention life plans. The result: a roller coaster of passionate highs and lows between folks who can't commit to each other yet can't call it quits.