5.6/10
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Little Athens (2005)

R | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | June 2005 (USA)
A day in Athens, Arizona, as teens and twenty-somethings navigate life without a compass. Jimmy has gambling debts and sees a chance to steal and sell a dead-man's stash of drugs. The ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jimmy
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Drunk Partygoer #2
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Katie Kinney
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Drunk Partygoer #1 (as Joshua Arden)
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Berubi
John David Conti ...
Pizza Pop
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Matt
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Mr. Carson
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Barnes' Girlfriend
Nikko Estrada ...
Kid #1
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Pedro
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Ping Pong Player #1
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Mrs. Carson
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Doctor Cook
...
Carter
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Storyline

A day in Athens, Arizona, as teens and twenty-somethings navigate life without a compass. Jimmy has gambling debts and sees a chance to steal and sell a dead-man's stash of drugs. The corpse's cousin smells a rat. Jessica, who is babysitting, abandons her charge to seek someone to defend her from a boyfriend angry that he's caught an STD. Corey is responsible for his teen sister, and he and his pal Pedro have been evicted, so they plot to steal a car, sell it, and get back in their apartment. Heather, an EMT, thinks her cop boyfriend is cheating, and she confides in her best friend. There's a party that night where all comes to a head. Guns and a baseball bat: is violence at hand? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A whirlwind day in the hapless lives of small town youth.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug and sexual content, pervasive language and some violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mauvaises influences  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jorge Garcia and Dj Qualls starred together in the TV series Lost (2004) See more »

Quotes

Matt: yeah jimmy you said extra, i thought you meant like 50!
Jimmy: 50 is the regular fucking price asshole!
See more »

Connections

Features Asteroids (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

War on Gravity
Written by Hal Ozsan
Performed by Hal Ozsan and Poets and Pornstars
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User Reviews

 
Finding life in a lifeless town
4 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This excellently-crafted film follows the lives of a group of post-high school graduates (or dropouts), late teens and early twenty-somethings for whom college is not an option. There are 4 stories which proceed independently of each other, occasionally passing off the baton from one to the next, but eventually all coming together.

Little Athens is a slice of life in a relatively lifeless environment -- a small town called Athens, but it could be any small town just about anywhere. Certainly, anyone who grew up in such a place knows it well. There isn't a whole lot to do. So you do what you can to get by. These characters' lives are about who you're dating, used to date, or would like to date, who you're cheating on and who's cheating on you, who's doing drugs and who's selling them, getting jobs and getting fired, getting into trouble and staying out of trouble, and trying to figure out who you are in a town where nobody amounts to much unless you leave. Stay and you're stuck, so you may as well make the best of it. In a town with no rock concerts, no sports arena, no dance clubs, no mall, and no multiplex, there's no drama. And when the drama doesn't exist without, you create it from within. Nature abhors a vacuum, so these young people fill the void by creating their own conflicts, because it's so much easier to be discontent than not.

If it sounds sad, well, where there's pity there's sympathy. And where there's sympathy there's comfort. We know these people. And that cuts to the heart of what makes this film what it is -- this brilliant young cast does what good actors are supposed to do -- they make these characters real. You never get the feeling that this is scripted, or has been rehearsed -- and the camera similarly stays out of the way.

Most of the film is shot in widescreen 35MM, as if to emphasize how small these characters are set against the bleak landscape of this town. We are watching them from a distance, just observers, taking it all in and allowing us to slowly invest ourselves in these people. The last portion of the film uses hand-held 16MM, as the four separate story lines come together towards the climax of the film. Now we are there, with them, because now that we know them we are allowed into their world.

The aspects of the film which stand out the most in my mind are the performances and the music. The acting is just spot on. It's always hard to single anyone out in an ensemble cast, but John Patrick Amedori's Jimmy is arguably the most sympathetic character in a film where you tend to feel sorry for everyone. He's perfectly cast -- the story had to have one sometimes sad but hopeful puppy-dog, and he's it.

The other highlight for me was the music, but that's always my weakness. After the acting and the soundtrack comes Tom Zuber's intricate story, told with the luxury of one able to write it, produce it, direct it, and edit it. He should be extremely proud of this work.


18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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