Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Stephen Adly Guirgis
I presume the schlockiness is intentional. It is very well-executed schlockiness. The archetypes are conventionally but very truthfully drawn: clinging desperate girlfriend, dangerous girlfriend, "best friend's girl" girlfriend, the commercially successful classmate from your old high school, the using "best friend".
The style of the movie is bizarre. The New York pictures are well-chosen for the flavor of the movie. The music often clashes with the action or the visual dynamic in a way that seems deliberate. It doesn't result in the Knowing Guffaw, or the Delighted Titter, but it just seems to lay the scene out stiff, like the way you feel when you're out for dinner with your parents at a place you now know is beneath you and your aspirations (a scenario which recurs at comforting intervals during the picture) -- this is a fine depiction of "spinning your wheels" during your inept and misguided 20s. I don't know a lot about this writer/director and his work (I live in a cinematically-challenged area) but if he meant it the way it came out, he's really reaching me.
There are "musical interludes" so artfully awkward. The "Ay-yi-yi-ra" song is a special treat. The movie is cloyingly awkward, but the result is so off-beat, so "am I really seeing this?" that I couldn't stop watching. I would really like everyone I know to see the "performance artist girlfriend" 'cause I'm amazed at her make-up technique, and her hair-doos.
Too bad the credits for this movie on this site are so sparse.
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