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House of Satisfaction (2008)
House of Satisfaction, a real slow rocker love story.
I've just arrived from the closing film of a film festival in a small city on a small island in the Atlantic ocean. Of the eleven feature films I endured during this festival, only this one got my heart pumping, my breath quickening, my face lit up with a smile at the opening line: "I've got a New York fairy tale for ya ". Jesse Hartman's throaty and relaxed voice, nonetheless filled with vibrant life, sets the setting for the rest of the movie, its warm humor mixed with a sarcastic sense of defeat, a settled feeling of grunge, real slow rock, and an old fashioned love story gone wrong.
The story tells of a has-been rising rock star, Jesse Limbo, who almost made it with his band Laptop that included his best friend and producer Mo, and his now ex-wife Emile. Based loosely on the real Jesse Hartman and some of his musical career, the movie features many archive footages from Jesse's life, which coincidentally also feature many of the cast in their early years, giving the movie such a documentary feeling that those who don't know better (myself included) are prone to accept the events as facts. Over the course of a weekend the story unfolds about what really happened in the past of the almost famous Laptop, and Jesse's quest to find his son he abandoned thirteen years before.
Jesse Hartman isn't an actor by profession. However, he shows breakthrough performances in House of Satisfaction, such that you really start to feel like maybe he did go through the heartaches the story tells of. With musician Britta Phillips as the enchanting ex-wife singer Emile, actors Santo Fazio and Tanya Fischer, the cast makes the story not only believable but beautiful as well, and Hartman's tale of almost famous musicians might just be paving the way for the new era of lower budget movies that will show the general public that a well shot movie with a good script beats a Hollywood budget blockbuster every time. In the coming years this just might become common fact. But I've just arrived from my first of many viewings of House of Satisfaction. It left me inspired, it left a warm feeling in my belly, and I felt like I really should just (to quote Santo Fazio's Mo) "stop worrying and listen to the music."