Dave's Rating:


Several circles of indie film hell.

Who's In It:: Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage, Sarah Silverman, Romany Malco, Tim Blake Nelson, John Cho, Emmanuelle Chriqui

The Basics: Steve Buscemi is an auto insurance company cubicle drone assigned to investigate a stripper's possibly fake claim. He gets in a car with Romany Malco (that guy on Weeds) and they drive around a lot. Like a LOT a lot. About 50% of the movie is these guys just motoring down the highway. You keep reaching for a remote to fast-forward the driving parts so that you can get to the next quirky scene of them encountering hicks with guns or experiencing ironic convenience store moments. But then you realize you're in a theater, stuck watching some guys do nothing but talk behind a dashboard with no way to make it end when you want.

What's The Deal: It's meant to be an adaptation of Dante's Inferno, with Buscemi as a compulsive gambler addicted to lottery tickets that never win, whose only real hope for happiness is an awkward romance with co-worker Sarah Silverman (as a woman obsessed with collecting Smiley Face products). Every character has a signature quirk they wear like a costume, so as they pass by the camera, demonstrate their tic that represents whatever circle of Hell Buscemi is supposed to be passing through, it feels less like a redemption journey than a sleepy parade of indie movie boredom. It sucks when cool actors you like are in movies you wish would disintegrate from the heat of the projector lamp. That's a hell-trip I could get with.

A Potentially Spoiler-Intensive Laundry List Of Stuff That Happens, None Of It Exciting Or Funny: A jerkface insurance boss with giant marble columns in his office and a penchant for sexual harrassment (Peter Dinklage), a car accident victim stripper who gives lapdances from her wheelchair (Emmanuelle Chriqui), store clerks in sparkly western Porter Waggoner shirts, bumbling cops, naked people snacking, other naked people with guns, phones shaped like bananas, fantasy church sequences and lots of carnies, one of whom sets himself on fire.

Movies About People In Cars You'd Be Better Off Watching Instead: Thelma & Louise, The Muppet Movie, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Sure Thing, The Wind Will Carry Us, Gun Crazy, Two for The Road, The Hitcher, Two Lane Blacktop. There are others. Lots of others. Anything but this. Not kidding.


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