American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
They meet by accident in the supermarket. It's been -- how many years? They were in love once. They were a couple. They were "Damian and Diana" to everyone who knew them. Now they're both married to others. She's pregnant. They smile and exchange meaningless commonplaces. They separate. Each of their carts is filled with items for the use of a person the other will never meet.
In another aisle, they meet again. Not by accident. There is more to be said, but not very much that can be safely said without an enormous upheaval in their lives. It is clear to us, perhaps to them, that they should never have broken up. No matter what has happened, no matter who they married, he says, "we're Damian and Diana." That will never change.
Thank God "Nine Lives" is an episodic film, so everything they have to say or do has to be contained in about 12 minutes. To know why they broke up or to see them get back together would involve us in a full-length love story of the sort we are familiar with.
It might be a good one. But here, in this meeting that is seen in one unbroken shot in a supermarket, we see the crucial heart of their relationship. It is based on the truth that their lives have moved on. Perhaps they should have stayed together. But they didn't. It's not important to know whether they start seeing each other again. But it is important for them to know that they want to, because to live without that knowledge is to dishonor their real feelings.