Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Not entirely sure what happened with this one last week - it was on the schedule for one show at Boston Common on Friday night, but when I showed up, the ticket kiosk had it marked "cancelled" Then, a week later, it gets booked for two shows daily. I half-wonder if the fact that the director first got noticed for his BU thesis film (back in '98) was part of why it was getting booked here at all; I suspect last week's booking might have been a personal appearance he couldn't make.

At any rate, I'm glad it did eventually get released. It may not necessarily be great, but it's good, and I think the other person at the room liked it as well. That's what seeing an indie in a multiplex after the weekend is like, especially when the two previews going on (for John Wick and Birdman) seemed to suck the air out of the rest of the theater.


* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 21 October 2014 in AMC Boston Common #3 (first-run, DCP)

Given that its name is a hashtag, one might expect #Stuck to have social media play some sort of central part of the story, and maybe cringe at the inevitable mishandling. Fortunately, filmmaker Stuart Acher doesn't choose to stack storytelling gimmicks three deep, instead mostly just choosing to let the romantic comedy rest on its actors' performances. It's not a bad plan.

That leaves two gimmicks, of course. The first is that the bulk of the movie takes place in one car stuck in a Los Angeles traffic jam, with Guy (Joel David Moore) trying to deliver his one-night stand Sarah (Madeline Zima) back to the car she left near the bar the night before. The second is that the two were apparently wasted enough to not remember anything about the night before, including each other's names, and it is coming back to both of them in reverse chronological order, which is how the audience sees the flashbacks.

It makes for kind of a rough start; just by the nature of the beast, folks in the middle of a traffic jam are testy at best and often abrasive, which winds up amplifying the traditional "romantic comedy leads don't initially like each other" to the point where it starts to actually become worrisome. It's also kind of predictable, as the first scenes of the traffic jam introduce all the familiar characters for that situation and only one or two draw much of a laugh. The initial flashbacks are also kind of weird, and not always in a good way, often emphasizing awkwardness over sexiness and often being shot from a first-person point of view that often feels too close in or distorted, like Acher's trying to do something with their self-image and how they see the other, but it's just out of reach.

Full review at EFC.

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