It's a rarity for a director's first film to be as confident and effective as Easier with Practice is. And for any film, let alone a debut, to address difficult subjects with this much insight, humor, and humanity is almost miraculous. There are filmmakers who couldn't produce something this good on their tenth try, and here Kyle Patrick Alvarez has done it right out of the gate.

Alvarez's screenplay is based on a GQ article by Davy Rothbart, and it concerns an introverted 28-year-old writer named Davy Mitchell (Brian Geraghty) who is driving around the southwest United States with his brother, Sean (Kel O'Neill), to promote his book of short stories. This book hasn't actually been published, mind you, but self-produced copies are available after the readings.

While at a hotel in Albuquerque one night, Davy gets a random phone call from a woman named Nicole (Kathryn Aselton) who seductively asks what he's wearing. Nonplussed, he replies, "Clothes, I guess." Apparently quite skilled at this, Nicole soon has Davy engaging in a bit of steamy phone sex with her. She gets his cell number (this first rendezvous was on the hotel phone) and says she'll call again.

It becomes a regular thing. Every night, while Sean sleeps in a hotel bed, Davy stays out in their station wagon and talks to Nicole. It's mostly about the sex, but it becomes a relationship of sorts, too, with post-coital conversations -- the equivalent of cuddling, in Davy's words. Nicole's primary interest is dirty talk, though, and she won't ever give Davy her number, which is blocked from his caller ID. Everything is on her terms. Davy is smitten, and stuck.