The Hottest State Reviews
There are some great shots. That is the best thing about the movie...the shot of the guy with a cigarette and baseball bat in his room after meeting the girl. The shot of him watching her in bed. There are some later but nothing quite as good as those. The shots, along with some decent music in the beginning, had the movie heading in the right direction.
A lot of people don't like Moreno as the lead female. Maybe she is fine. Webber may also be fine. It's hard to tell if it is the actors, the characters, or the writing that bothered me. I think it is the writing as the characters didn't do the things I thought real people would do, and they certainly didn't say real things. As I mentioned earlier, Hawke's earlier acting work includes the talking films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Those movies are nothing but talking for 90 minutes but manage to work. There is a lot of talking in this movie but often the chemistry and dialogue are lacking.
In the end, I think it's a bit too pretentious. Near the end, the guy yells some Shakespeare at her window (I think it is Romeo and Juliet and in a bit of humor, a neighbor actually says, "Shut up, Romeo" and it is funny for someone to recognize it), but who really does that? It's just too movie and working too hard for emotion. That and all the music. In the beginning, it set a nice tone. By the end, it was just too much, virtually never stopping. Again, I think with stronger dialogue, it wouldn't have needed masked with music. But some hot scenes, some great shots, and who in the hell painted that gunfighter picture early on in the bar? I sure want a copy.
The thing is, this uneasy quest for love must have been "real" and "emotional" and "heart-rending" for Hawke - I'm assuming it's autobiographical. It HAS to be. Who can make up such crap? And that's the problem with the real, angsty life stories. They're only interesting and special to those who live through it. They're usually crap to everyone else.
I dig Hawke's short film, Straight to One, in the special features. It better captures the "what do we do now" moment after an impulsive romance.
One line I did like, "I want you to fucking appear!" Mark Webber's delivery of the voicemail-from-hell is quite tragicomic.