In Brooklyn, Zelda, her lover Max, and their small daughter Little Z share one room in a flat with seven others, including Natali, a best friend of Zelda's just out of detox. Max is a ... See full summary »
In Brooklyn, Zelda, her lover Max, and their small daughter Little Z share one room in a flat with seven others, including Natali, a best friend of Zelda's just out of detox. Max is a would-be writer, off most of the time drinking; Zelda is an illustrator working in the bedroom as she tends Little Z. At least once a week, Zelda and four other young women who each have a child meet for $2 margaritas during happy hour. They talk about life a few years ago without kids, men (only one is married), postpartum sex drives, moving to the country, and being stuck. As Max's moods weigh more heavily on Zelda and as Natali's recovery abates, can Zelda find constant forward motion? Written by
"Margarita Happy Hour" works well as both a movie and a sociological slice of life.
It's "Sex and the City" as set in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I was torn between sympathy for the downtrodden club-hopping single moms and calling "Judging Amy'"s social worker Mom to get their babies away from them.
I see-sawed between tears and gasps -- in a decidedly down-scale take on "Ladies Who Lunch" was this one really gonna let that toddler sip out of her cocktail glass? Would the electronica turntables ever be turned down so the baby could get some sleep? But then a mom was really trying to get her sick baby on Medicaid.
But this isn't quite seven years later for the girls of Larry Clark's "Kids" (a movie that made me sick for two weeks after viewing) -- this multi-ethnic group seems to be somewhat voluntarily poor, as they and their both sex significant others -- who are shown to be as childish with no impulse control as the babies whose names are just miniatures of their mothers-- are sort of artists and writers. At least one girlfriend does question whether it's appropriate for the central woman to take her toddler with her as she drops off her illustrations at the pornography magazine she free-lances for.
Writer/director Ilya Chaiken is particularly effective with her seamless flashbacks as we gradually see how the lead characters got into their situation, using the metaphor of a circular trap of behavior and feelings.
What is clear, despite the tawdry surroundings, is that these women genuinely love their babies and the children are finally their salvation (the credits include a list of the children of the cast and crew that inspired them). So there's a somewhat hopeful if not completely believable conclusion.
As a very small indie movie probably only music by their friends could be afforded on the soundtrack, which is mostly loud and not melodic, so the sound hurts when the visuals do too.
(originally written 3/23/2002)
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