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Third

B+

At an elite New England college, famous feminist professor Laurie Jameson (Dianne Wiest) is struggling to stay sane through menopause, her father’s fading health, and the war in Iraq. Enter Woodson Bull III, a.k.a. ”Third” (Jason Ritter), a straight, white, semi-Republican student wrestler who’s genuinely interested in Shakespearean gender roles. The battle between these two characters — blind liberal versus open-minded conservative — gives Wendy Wasserstein’s Thirdits shape. But it’s Wiest and Ritter (and an excellent supporting cast, including a heartbreaking Charles Durning as Laurie’s dementia- addled dad) who make the text feel impossibly immediate…and the pat ending almost forgivable.

Third
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