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'Odd' is an understatement for this quirky black comedy about a tollbooth worker near Miami who tracks down his girlfriend's long-lost father, only to get into a fight with the guy and have the whole situation blow up in his face. Peculiar but also nostalgic--an interesting mix--what with its lazy-hazy ambiance and eclectic cast. Lenny Von Dohlan is a stand-out in the lead, plus it's always good to see Fairuza Balk. Like most films about dead-end lives, however, this one doesn't have any particular place to go, but there are pleasurable moments along the way. Canny direction from Salomé Breziner, who also wrote the script. Memorable and often marvelous. *** from ****
I've seen this movie more than once. It draws me in with its beguilingly casual erotic overtones and the charming sadness of the three small-town Floridian characters' deepening predicament. (I'm also fascinated with Florida and all of its faces, and this one was a new one for me.) Fairuza Balk is hot, and Will Patton is way cool. That other guy does a nice job as well. See it, and don't expect Gone With The Wind, just relax and enjoy.
I have seen this movie several times and enjoy it more each time. It is quirky and bizarre, but it is the symbolism that draws me in each time. Carefully placed symbols permeate the movie, from roadkill, to butterflies, to an overgrown garden, to fish bait (once you see the movie you'll understand), to even Dash Pepper's leg cast. The three main characters are wonderfully constructed: Fairuza Balk as Doris Lenny von Dohlen as Jack, her boyfriend, and Will Patton as Dash Pepper (in yet another great performance), Doris' lover and Jack's best friend. One of the most telling lines, I think, is when Dash tells Doris that they are both a bit damaged, and they are. This movie is about relationships and how they can be altered by a simple twist of fate, about healing, and about letting go of the past to embrace the future. One viewing is just not enough.
I only watched this for one reason, and she played a witch in the "Craft." In this movie, she plays an innocent piece of trailer park trash waiting for her absent father to come home after a ten year absence. Now that's a long wait ! Her boyfriend is played by Lenny Van Dohlen, one of those actors you always recognize, but don't know the name. There's side-plots on the disposal of dead bodies and what the toll booths are really there for, but the movie moves along so well, that it really doesn't matter. This film is definently a worth-see.
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