During a bland dialog shot between two characters, the camera circles around them about thirty times, gradually picking up speed until finally the viewer is thrown into an end table from the centrifugal force. As always when watching these jittery Sundance darlings, safety is job one, wear a helmet. The next time they talk the camera stays put, thankfully, but this time one of the characters circles the other on roller skates about thirty times. That's indie art, baby! They're circling each other seductively, see? It's a metaphor. I picked that up all by myself. I'm like a perceptive hipster, eh?
Jason Priestley shows up - he plays this good looking weird guy - but then he just disappears, his role pointless. Liz Phair, same thing. I didn't see Parker Posey, but this was 2002, surely she was in the mix somewhere. This is a halfhearted thriller about a music obsessive stalking an ugly duckling who - SPOILER ALERT - blossoms into a beautiful young swan by simply taking out her retainer and combing her hair. Who would have guessed that the smokin' hot Robin Tunney was hiding underneath that rats nest? No fair peeking at the cover art of Ms. Tunney licking a big pink lollipop, her butt staring you down. That butt wants you to rent this movie and what that butt wants, it gets. But this is a dumb formula movie that's trying to trick the Sundance suckers into thinking it's smart and edgy and it doesn't really have anything to do with butts or lollipops. I was tricked too.
Great Movie to watch.
This is where the bulk of the film - and entertainment - lies, in her apartment awaiting trial. Her only acquaintances are her invalid downstairs neighbor and the ankle bracelet security officer who makes routine visits. The relationships and twists that develop are surprising yet believable. Tunney alone bears the weight of the movie as she features in nearly every scene, and her quirkily appealing performance won my affection. Tim Blake Nelson also hits the bulls-eye, but Liz Phair....well, it's fun to see her appear in a movie once. Nice in-joke of her whitechocolatespaceegg album displayed at the checkout counter of a record store.
The thriller elements are competent but fairly routine, and with a resolution that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Normally these deficiencies would kill a movie, but the characters and occurrences are so fun to watch that the thriller aspect became secondary. Filled with '80s songs that fit perfectly with the mood of each scene. A modest, enjoyably offbeat sleeper.