Written & Directed By: Michael Goldbach
Cinematography By: Jon Joffin
Editor: Jamie Alain
Cast: Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson, Andie McDowell, Josh Lucas, Rachel Blanchard, Katie Boland
Big city girl Caroline is new to a small town, she disregards her high school classmates, and then just for kicks starts a sexual relationship with her teacher, Mr. A. Meanwhile, there’s a serial killer roaming the town, an industrial fire burning on the outskirts, and Thurston is mourning the loss of his best friend. As Thurston falls in love with Caroline, realities quickly catch up to all characters, and they are all going to have to mature or face the consequences.
While this film didn’t love up to the tone that the trailer sets. I still found much to admire in the film.
The film’s mood is a mixed reality for the most part as some scenes feel like we are in a dreamland. The occasional surreal visuals help set that up throughout the film.
At times the film feels a little over the top filled with a ridiculous serial killer side story. That seems to only be there so there can be some kind of structured plot. Instead of having the story be Random. It also sets up to give teenage angst in this film a feeling of true nihilism because literally today could be their last.
It also leaves it to the audience to examine the characters more closely. Maybe their quirks are hiding some real serious mental problem, leaving their behavior as an obvious red flag.
The title comes from the music group Sonic Youth’s classic album. There are numerous nods to the group throughout the film. One Is that One of the leads played by Reece Thompson is names after the music group’s leader Thurston Moore. Like a Sonic Youth album, there are moments of great beauty. While the characters try to have a hardcore edge. They are broke. Like many of the chords the group plays. The only thing missing is the group’s music. It would have been cool if they scored the film, though the soundtrack isn’t bad. Especially its use of the band STARS music throughout the film. They are a Canadian band and this film was obviously made in Canada. Though at least they use the song KOOL THING by Sonic Youth
One of the film’s strengths is the lead Kat Dennings who totally owns this film. She has an off-kilter sexiness. Like Rose McGowan, but with a sharper wit to go along with her looks. She has a classic look as well as being voluptuous. How she wasn’t cast in the lead for the film EASY A. I’ll never know as it seemed to be a role tailor-made for her. Though Emma stone did a good job.
Here her character has a hard shell, but a vulnerable side she only seems to show the audience a she is the narrator.
I like Josh Lucas as an actor, but here he seems wasted playing more of a wounded caricature. Then rather a character. He deserves better as he seems a major actor stick in a supporting role. His character seems to just make no sense, even after learning his back story.
I enjoyed the film’s chapter stops to fully explain situations with a little more insight.
The film at times can be a bit pretentious and hazy as to who is it all for, but it kept up my interest and left me impressed. The film certainly isn’t for everyone. It feels like a PG-13 version of TWIN PEAKS mixed with a sardonic teen movie. Made by David Lynch only not in control of his skills.
A good rental