It's the 1990s. Toby, just out of college in Wisconsin, comes to Manhattan to spend the summer with his older cousin, Packard, a gay man whose lover John R. has just died of AIDS. Toby is ... See full summary »
Erik Van Der Wilden,
Eddie "Gonzo" Gilman is starting a revolution. When the wild-eyed rebel journalist is ousted from his prep school's newspaper by its über-popular editor, Eddie fronts an underground ... See full summary »
Four years after graduating, Kevin Miller cannot move on with his life without finding a way to win over his old high school crush. And his world turns upside down, when he takes a job as a pizza delivery man in order to win her heart.
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Paz de la Huerta,
Rhinoceros Eyes is a fantastical coming-of-age story revolving around Chep, a young, reclusive prop-house employee who falls in love with a detail-obsessed movie production designer named ... See full summary »
Gale Morgan Harold III
A long night's journey into day. On the eve of her 18th birthday, talkative and rotund Cara is invited to accompany a pizza delivery guy, Matt, on his rounds. It's a night of firsts for her - first job, first beer, first cigarette, first dance. How will she handle it? And, what about Matt - good-looking, single, unattached, and 30? Why would he want to include Cara? She's intrusive and vulnerable; he's under-employed and protective. Is there life after pizza? Written by
An Odd Couple's Haphazard Night of Pizza Deliveries
Seven years after his ambitious attempt at depicting the high life of the mid-70's Manhattan disco scene in "54", writer-director Mark Christopher has come back most modestly with this elliptical low-budget 2005 coming-of-age comedy that seems to be a cross between a 1980's John Hughes movie and "Napoleon Dynamite". It actually plays out a bit like a teen version of Martin Scorsese's "After Hours" as it follows two disparate characters on an all-night adventure hinging on a series of pizza deliveries. The focus is on a lonely overweight girl, Cara-Ethyl (obscurely named after Irene Cara and Ethel Mertz from "I Love Lucy"). A social outcast forced to make up an imaginary friend to appease her temporarily blinded mother, Cara-Ethyl celebrates her 18th birthday with lots of food but no one to share in the festivities.
Enter Matt Firenze, a thirty-year old failed political activist with his own pizza delivery truck and a prolific track record with women but little else to show for himself. He feels sorry for her plight and invites her on his runs for the night. While Matt attempts to give her lessons on self-acceptance, Cara-Ethyl inevitably experiences deeper feelings that lead to revelations about both their lives. The idea is sound if rather unoriginal, but Christopher's off-kilter, episodic approach feels contrived for all the wrong reasons in spite of a smattering of well-earned laughs. Kylie Sparks certainly gets all of Cara-Ethyl's eccentricities and precociousness down pat, but her character is conceived in ill-fitting clichés over how an awkward, friendless teen finds her identity. As Matt, a cast-against-type Ethan Embry has moments of resonance, but he mainly appears to be channeling Matthew McConaughey's laconic slacker in "Dazed and Confused". The two leads never seem to gel since the contrivance of the situation is too overwhelming.
Familiar faces show up in the supporting cast - Julie Hagerty with her eyes excessively bandaged as Cara-Ethyl's not-so-clueless mom, Marylouise Burke (Paul Giamatti's drunken mother in "Sideways") as Aunt Grandma, and Alexis Dziena (Sharon Stone's oversexed daughter in "Broken Flowers") as a hairball-producing tart. The film clips by quickly at eighty minutes, and I have to admit some of the music used was entertaining - a karaoke number from "Bye Bye Birdie", Lulu's throaty voice on "To Sir With Love" in a strangely disco-oriented club, and Embry's plaintive guitar number. With middling picture quality due to the digital filming, the 2006 DVD has a few extras worth noting. With some help from producer Howard Gertler, Christopher provides unobtrusive commentary on an alternate track and on an eight-minute featurette about some of the scenes.
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