Smithereens Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Super Reviewer
March 14, 2011
The main character of this movie reminds me of the main character of Cabaret, they're both self destructive women looking for love in the wrong places. The whole movie, especially the end, is really sad, but inevitable. This movie doesn't get very far into exploring this character, it just kinda lingers. It's not bad, though, it's just okay.
Super Reviewer
October 17, 2009
A worthwhile, if depressing, debut film from writer/director Susan Seidelman.

Susan Berman (IMDB indicates she has just seven acting credits in her career, stretched across 25 years) plays Wren, a feisty, curly-haired scenester. She seems somewhat tied to New York club culture (the Peppermint Lounge is prominently used as a location), but has no real commitment to the music and people beyond how much she can exploit them for financial support.

She has no income, drifts from friend to friend (whoever will take her) and unconvincingly lies about her homeless poverty. The heart of the plot is her pursuit of two men: a sweet newcomer from Montana who's living in his decrepit van (Brad Rinn) and a struggling rocker (real-life musician Richard Hell, who's quite solid as an actor).

It's interesting to view "Smithereens" in the context of other early-'80s films about young, trendy women (including Seidelman's big-budget follow-up, "Desperately Seeking Susan"). Wren's initial entrance (confidently plastering flyers with her face around the subway) suggests a spunky, independent, charismatic John Hughes heroine. Someone we'll fall in love with. So, it's a disturbing twist to discover that she's basically, well, a jerk. The girl is going nowhere fast, and there's no reason for anyone to care.

Underground legends the Feelies dominate the score, though two Hell songs appear too. A forgotten group called the Nitecaps also performs on camera. In the closing minutes, a young, skinny Chris Noth appears for a split-second as a transvestite hooker.
March 31, 2012
i watched this film because I read that the feelies did the score, but ended up with the feeling that this is what rock and roll is all about really, a hierarchy of cool where bottom feeding is everyone's favorite pastime. I can imagine this film being "reimagined" today across the bridge in Williamsburg.

Worth seeing.
January 15, 2011
I know this SEEMS like the kind of thing I would cream myself over right? Old school-New-York-LES-punk rock-Richard Hell-art-blah blah blah. But ultimately it was just kinda sorta okay. I think my main problem with it was that there weren't any characters I liked well enough to root for. Wren was the sort of obnoxious girl who wants to be famous, but doesn't really seem to DO anything to be known for. I mean, she sort of messes with collage, but even this doesn't develop into anything--art piece, zine, mail art, nothing. She's ultimately one of those people who seeks notoriety more for who she's sleeping with than what she does. Cue Richard Hell's character, the big flavor-of-the-month in the local punk rock scene whom she fawns over. He's just the standard arrogant bad boy rocker. Not a terribly intriguing or memorable character. And the "sensitive" artist who lives in his van by the West Side Highway is just as bad in his own way. He comes in to the film all but stalking her, and spends the rest of the film being pissy, controlling, and otherwise exhibiting every red flag for an abusive personality psychologists can muster. The audience is expected to see him as the "better" choice for Wren, but seriously, ditch both of them and get a dildo chica! I guess this movie does have a point to make since I've known people in real life like all of these characters (or at least in the case of the cliche bad boy rocker, attempting to appear like them.) but since such kinds of people annoy me in real life, why would I want to spend time with them in a movie?
½ May 31, 2008
This was a stupid movie. I don't know what to say about this one. Its was blah. I never want to see it again.
March 10, 2008
This is the ultimate "nice guys finish last" story. The main character, a completely self-absorbed impoverished woman named Wren, consistently makes bad choices about men. She bull-headedly pursues a punk rocker who treats her like a disposable object, while only occasionally showing her anything that even resembles affection. As she chases this punk, she blatantly ignores the "good guy" who really likes her, but reaches a point where he realizes that she is a lost cause and will never be satisfied with him.
½ September 4, 2007
This was like a guide to life for me at one point... the basic story holds up and holds true. The rest is blissful nostalgia.
½ April 27, 2011
This movie seems directionless at first, but it does an exceptional job at drawing you into the characters' lives and making you care about them.
Page 1 of 2