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Television, the medium whose script writers work hard to extend stories across weeks and years, is not very good at endings. For every "Six Feet Under" perfect series finale, there are 10 failed finis, most notably that of "Seinfeld," which was a trial to watch.

HBO canceled "Looking" after two short seasons, but now the channel is giving the show's writers, actors, and fans a chance to wrap things up in a movie. Like the series, "Looking: The Movie" is not particularly inventive as it follows the romantic and sexual lives of a group of gay friends (and one "fairy princess") in San Francisco. There's a wedding, and there are the predictable jitters. But for those who are attached to the "Looking" characters, the movie is a warm coda to their stories, as each character inches closer to fulfillment. It doesn't offer shocking plot twists; just more melancholy and understated atmosphere, more beautiful shots of San Francisco, and more observations about love and friendship among gay men in the era of gay marriage.


When we first see Jonathan Groff's Patrick, he is back in San Francisco for the wedding, after having recently moved to Denver for a job designing video games. In his cab ride from the airport, he explains all this to the driver — a lazy way for the writers, Andrew Haigh and Michael Lannan, to explain it to us. Patrick left behind a couple of unresolved relationships in San Francisco, and it's clear from the start of the movie that he is, as the title has it, looking — consciously or not — for closure. Over the course of the series, Patrick could be frustrating in his naivete and illusions. In the movie, in an appealing turn that deepens Groff's performance, he is growing more self-aware and confident.

At the end of the series, Patrick's rocky relationship with his British boss, Kevin (Russell Tovey), had fallen apart. And his quieter, more emotionally potent relationship with Richie (Raul Castillo) was dormant. They both appear in the movie, as does a one-night stand named Jimmy, a 22-year-old Patrick hooks up with shortly after his arrival. At one point, in the kind of softly emblematic scenes that gave the show its cultural significance, Jimmy tells a surprised Patrick that he had his first boyfriend when he was 16. Times have changed for gays, the scene intimates, and coming out isn't necessarily the dreaded nightmare it once was.


As the wedding unfolds, Patrick, the chef Dom (Murray Bartlett), and the artist Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez) spend meaningful time together, and those friendship scenes provide some of the movie's most satisfying moments. The best part of "Looking" has always been the intimacy among them, the way they know one another inside and out — better than their own families — and still feel love. They've stuck together through the thick and thin of their love affairs and professional aspirations, and the payoff is their tender, knowing rapport. It's all fairly slight, when you take a step back from it, but ultimately that's the strength of "Looking" and its closing movie. They comprise sweet, passing chapters in a small group of ordinary lives.


Starring: Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Frankie J. Alvarez, Lauren Weedman, Raul Castillo, Daniel Franzese, Russell Tovey

On: HBO, Saturday at 10 p.m.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.