Dysfunctional, but not Comedy
Vincent Gallo's one man show - writer, producer, director, and star - results in a quirky film. It certainly feels low budget. The film is grainy and the edits are simple, but it contributes to the film. Gallo's Billy Brown is an everyman. He's just been released from prison and wants to go home. The problem is that he has been lying to his parents and they don't know he is an ex-con. He stumbles into a dance studio and abducts Christina Ricci as Layla/Wendy.
Billy is quirky and Layla just wants someone to love. They seem almost right for each other, but Billy has an agenda and Layla is just lost. They drive to his parents and there are many shots of the four of them from different POVs at the dining room table. After a meal of tripe, Layla and Billy move on to the rest of his post-prison goals - which include bowling.
"We're the couple that doesn't touch each other and we span time and like each other." Billy says this to Layla in an instant photo mart. They're both messed up, buy Layla wants this relationship to work. Spanning time.
This movie almost feels like cinema verite. It's not using humour to ease our uncomfortable feelings towards these two loaners. Billy's mother is obsessed with the Bills in 1966 and his dad seems to have an inappropriate interest in his new 'daughter in law'. Together, they do a good job of ignoring Billy (and have been ignoring him) for a number of years.
Ultimately, it's a quirky love story with some great performances by larger stars in supporting roles - Angelica Huston and Mickey Rourke to name a few. Ricci and Gallo are both really good on screen.
Check for King Crimson in the soundtrack and the weird tap dancing scene in the bowling alley.
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