Jimmy Wayne Collins finds himself adrift in Memphis, Tennessee. Forced to return home to the piney woods of Southeast Texas, Jimmy will face his imprisoned brother, his dying father and the demons he left behind.
The Parkers, a reclusive family who follow ancient customs, find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area, forcing daughters Iris and Rose to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family.
Written and directed by E. Paul Edwards, "Fighting Words" is a low-budget romantic drama set in the fringe world of slam poetry. Jake Thompson (Jeff Stearns) is the pained poet and Marni Elliot (Tara T'Agostino) the HIV-positive book publisher who takes an interest in the promising young man's person and work. C. Thomas Howell appears as a slime ball, cutthroat poet (and ex-boy friend of Marni) who will stop at nothing to keep Jake from winning a competition and the book deal that goes with it. Fred Willard puts in an appearance near the end as the emcee of the contest.
The movie is certainly well-intentioned, and it earns at least a few points for its unusual subject matter, but an overall amateurishness in the performances and direction relegates it to minor league status. Moreover, an air of contrivance in the storytelling - especially in the final third - goes a long way towards undercutting any credibility the film might have had.
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