A Slipping-Down Life (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Slipping-Down Life (1999)



Critic Consensus: Lili Talyor is the best thing in this uninvolving and unconvincing drama.

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Movie Info

Making its world premiere at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, this story adapted for the screen and directed by first-timer Toni Kalem is based on the Anne Tyler novel of the same name. The story deals with finding love in a dead-end life. Evie (Lili Taylor) is a loner, living with her widowed father, who works at an aging kiddie park where she is a costumed cartoon character. One night she hears the words and music of a musician named Drumstrings Casey (Guy Pearce) on the radio, and Evie is immediately infatuated by him. She attends his concerts and falls in love with him. The problem is he doesn't know she exists, so Evie decides to carve Casey's name on her forehead with broken glass. The resulting media attention gets her an introduction to Drumstrings Casey himself. From there, a relationship develops as Casey needs Evie for creative support and Evie needs Casey for emotional stability. Soon after, they get married; unfortunately their problems only get worse as Casey's career takes a nosedive and Evie's father passes away. Will these two people make something of themselves or will they forever just be slipping down life?more
Rating: R (for language including sexual references)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Toni Kalem
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 19, 2004
Lions Gate Films - Official Site


Lili Taylor
as Evie Decker
Guy Pearce
as Bertram `Drumstrings...
Irma P. Hall
as Clotelia
John Hawkes
as David Elliot
Marshall Bell
as Mr. Casey
Shawnee Smith
as Faye-Jean Lindsay
Sara Rue
as Violet
Bruno Kirby
as Kiddie Acres Manager
Tom Bower
as Mr. Decker
Jo Ann Farabee
as Woman at Salon
Harv Morgan
as Dick St. Clair
Jason Russell Walker
as Audience Member No.1
Lew Temple
as Audience Member No.2
Jason Kavalewitz
as Young Sexband
Jeff McMillioan
as Young Sexband
Brian Stack
as Young Sexband
Ken Stack
as Young Sexband
Billy Harvey
as Sloppy Eddie
Mike Hynes
as Crotch Cricket
Michael Ramos
as Crotch Crickett
Eric Tatuaka
as Crotch Cricket
Jamie Dickerson
as Redhead Girl
Keith McDermott
as Paul Ogle
Topher Glenn
as Drum's Brother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A Slipping-Down Life

Critic Reviews for A Slipping-Down Life

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (29)

It's interesting, not fascinating, intriguing, not electrifying. But for those in the mood for an offbeat pleasure, A Slipping Down Life may well satisfy.

June 4, 2004
Detroit News
Top Critic

Never cuts much deeper than its subject.

Full Review… | June 4, 2004
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Weaves a fragile --- and often funny --- spell.

Full Review… | June 3, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

A perplexing, dark and brooding exercise.

Full Review… | May 28, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

Independent films like to equate smallness with authenticity, but sometimes, unfortunately, they're just small.

Full Review… | May 28, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

What at first seems like observed, exaggerated truth soon reveals itself as a series of writerly conceits being followed doggedly to some logical conclusion.

Full Review… | May 28, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Slipping-Down Life


In spite of Guy Pearce's enigmatic performance, the film is too slow moving and strange to be successful. Lili Taylor is once again bland, but she does give a decent performance. I am supposed to care about some obsessed nutcase that carves the name of her idol with broken glass on her forehead? Don't thinkl so! Pearce does his own singing and is quite good.

James Higgins

Not a whole lot to say about this one. It was interesting and original and Pearce gives his usual great performance, but there just isn't a whole lot going on. The singer doesn't seem great enough to justify his attitude, but it works in a way. What really made this stand out to me is that it had plenty of chances to take a cliche route (and I kept expecting it to) but it didn't. The writer was smart enough to take the road less travelled.

Also - Not sure, but it sounds like Pearce did his own singing. Either way, he sounds capable of being in an actual band.

I first caught this movie on IFC a couple of weeks ago (drawn to it by one of my favorite actors, Guy Pearce). It's a beautiful story. Makes those of us who don't necessarily look like supermodels feel as if there may actually be something special about us. Lily Taylor's character is awesome and she plays the role extremely well. Guy Pearce is superb, as always. A movie that makes you think it's going to make you sad, but an unexpected (but hoped for) twist at the end makes things right with the world once more.

Katrina L

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