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Johnny Ryan is a facile writer of best sellers, and he's a womanizer. At a party in L.A. to celebrate the publication of his third book, he's arranged an assignation with one of the catering crew when he meets Mercy, a writer in town from New York. She turns out to be a critic whose review savages his book. He calls on her at her hotel, invites her out, and they find they enjoy each other. When her brief stay in L.A. is to end, he asks her to stay. Jump ahead: he's bearded, alone, and emotionally shut down. He visits his father, a university professor from whom he's estranged. What's going on? Where's Mercy? Written by
"Mercy" is an interesting tale of falling in love when you least expect it.
I saw "Mercy" as the closing night film at the Gen Art Film Festival. This was one of those movies where I didn't have any real feeling about it going into the screening. Basically. it was one of those films that if I saw it that would be cool, but if I didn't that's OK too. With that being said, I did venture into the screening and below is what I thought of it.
In "Mercy," Scott Caan plays Johnny, a successful fictional writer, who writes about love but has never been in love. One night at his latest book party, Johnny is up to his usual flirtatious nature when he eyes Mercy (Wendy Glenn) from across the room. He walks over to her but Mercy isn't falling for his playboy routine and all of Johnny's pick up lines. Johnny is taking back because Mercy isn't falling for his charming nature and feels that there is something else to this girl that he has never seen or felt before. Johnny now has to question if his idea of love is a "fictitious" feeling or if he is truly is falling in love. An interesting and sometimes dark film ensues...
After having mixed feelings on actually seeing the film, I am glad that I did in fact see it. While the film itself didn't blow me away, it definitely had a well written story and solid performances all around. I think the script itself, which was written by Scott Caan is probably what made it work for the most part. Like any script there are some flaws and definitely a lot of clichéd moments here. I think we all heard this plot outline before but the way the story was written basically is what made it seem out of the ordinary. What I mean by that is Mr. Caan decided to overlap a lot of the acts and kind of blur them together. A lot of films do this but very few that I seen do it successfully. This one did a good job of it which made an overused idea seem fresh.
The acting was very noteworthy. I actually really liked Scott Caan's performance as Johnny. He had a very diverse role for him here. He went from a very upbeat and typical male character to a darker and depressing character. Also I have to point out that his chemistry with Wendy Glenn was just terrific. They had a great on-screen presence and their chemistry felt powerful and real. Wendy by herself did a great job as well and I think she is definitely on her way to star in some new films sooner rather than later. The supporting cast all did a great job as well and really added to feeling the film was trying to create. Also I must lastly point out James Caan's performance and how dead on it was. I think the director, Patrick Hoelck made the right choice by picking James Caan to play the father role although it did seem like the obvious to me as well.
The director, Patrick Hoelck, did a great job here with his directorial debut. I think working with friends probably made the film-making process a bit more easier but his quality of work on this film was very good for a first feature. I have to also say that he did a really good job capturing the characters feelings and emotions as well as changing the direction of the film from light and fluffy to dark and depressing.
In the end, "Mercy" was good for what it is. It wasn't anything spectacular and won't be winning any awards any time soon. I feel the unique direction the story went, although pretty predictable half way through, and the acting was it's strongest marks. The film did a decent job holding the interest of the audience but again didn't really do anything to blow them away. It was definitely a good first time effort and for that I give everyone involved a round of applause.
MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Mercy" is a 7 out of 10.
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