Bruce Kauffman 10:30 a.m., Aug. 31
Short Takes (Plus a Little): Loosies
So here's my review for Loosies:
Or: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Abortion. Well, okay, not funny, exactly. But it does involve the world’s handsomest pickpocket (Peter Facinelli) fleeing from the world’s most bumbling future chief of police (Michael Madsen) with the world’s prettiest part-time waitress/pregnant paramour (Jaimie Alexander) in tow, before hiding out in the apartment of his mother’s new boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). Vincent Gallo also appears as the jerk who makes our hero pick pockets to pay off his dead dad’s debt. A modest film that realizes its modest ambitions.
But when my esteemed co-blogger Scott Marks told me that he liked the film better than I did, I started looking for why that might be. I had thought he would react badly to the camera's habit of giving us a new look at the same scene every two or three seconds instead of, you know, holding a shot long enough to really see it. What virtues overrode that visual tic?
Well, the acting for one. Everybody but Michael Madsen plays it pretty straight and low-key. I especially enjoyed Joe Pantoliano as a former Marine who's sweet on the hero's mother. Even Vincent Gallo keeps it below the boiling point.
The script, for another. Well, mostly. Every now and then, it overreaches, exposes a little too much leg, and winds up embarrassing both itself and us. But for the most part, the craft is there. No speeches, and some moments of actual humanity.
The gradually mounting disasters, for a third. Everything working to turn the screws a little tighter on our boyishly charming hero, bit by bit.
Still, I stick by my assessment. A modest film that realizes its modest ambitions. Mr. Marks, what am I missing?
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