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1 item from 1994


4 November 1994 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Just about everyone producer Peter McCarthy has ever worked with, from both behind and in front of the camera, can be found in fleeting parts in his feature directorial debut, "Floundering". Showing up for appearances ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes, they include John Cusack, Ethan Hawke, Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Jo Harvey Allen, Jeremy Piven, Nina Siemaszko, Alex Cox, Dave Alvin, and Ebbe Roe Smith.

McCarthy, who also produced and scripted, explores life in modern-day Los Angeles (specifically Venice) through the eyes of John Boyz (James Le Gros), an unemployed flounderer obsessed with the decaying society around him. Endlessly watching videos of the L.A. riots, he spends his days chronicling his rather meaningless existence, observing the ants wandering around his apartment, spying on an attractive woman down the street and trying to survive. His unemployment has run out, his druggie brother (Hawke) refuses treatment and his money has been seized by the Internal Revenue Service.

John is particularly disturbed by the despicable chief of police, Merryl Fence, and fantasizes about blowing him away. (The chief, mocking him directly from the television screen, dares him to do it.) What John Does instead is kidnap the girl of his dreams and drive her into the desert, where she proves an all-too-willing hostage.

Like many of the films McCarthy has produced, "Floundering" is stylistically audacious, containing numerous fantasy sequences and possessing a stream-of-consciousness structure. Although some of the segments click, more than most don't, and the result is a less than subtle social satire.

Le Gros, who seems to be headed for stardom, brings a shaggy-dog appeal to the leading role, but his character's angst quickly proves wearisome. A strong alternative music score is provided.


Strand Releasing presents a Front Films Production

Writer-producer-director Peter McCarthy

Associate producer Greg Eliason

Director of photography Denis Maloney

Film editors Dody Dorn, Peter McCarthy

Music Pray for Rain


John James Le Gros

JC John Cusack

Jimmy Ethan Hawke

Jessica Lisa Zane

Running time -- 97 minutes

No MPAA rating

(c) The Hollywood Reporter


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