al Hartley’s bittersweet slice of Americana has a European sensibility. It is slow, plodding at times, but infinitely careful with the detail of human life. Long Island suburban teenager Maria (Adrienne Shelly) tells her parents she’s pregnant whereupon her father literally drops dead. She’s ostracized. Enter Matthew Slaughter (Martin Donovan), an electronics whiz and drifter with a crazy father and secrets. Matthew and Maria are condemned to social estrangement, which means they’re a match. Maria wants to escape suburbia. Matthew points out, rather stunningly, that with TV around the only escape is by going further inside, not out. A smart, reflecting-pool of a movie. Hartley is an American original, wise and underappreciated.