March 15, 2003


Tonight's movie was Floundering, the story of John, a twentysomething having a slacker crisis. He starts off the movie without a job, and in the first part of the film we learn he's also experiencing 3am visitations of dread. The normal world isn't being real nice to him either. The IRS is after him for back taxes, his unemployment benefits were overpaid so now he owes them money, his girlfriend isn't big on monogamy, his brother has checked himself out of rehab. He's obsessed with watching taped copies of the television coverage of the LA riots, and tortured by all the problems he sees in the world. He doesn't do anything about the world's problems or his own. James LeGros does a creditable job with the material, but the fact that John's interior life (told in unending voice-over) bears many similarities to my own mental landscape doesn't make him any more likeable. Probably less.

The end of the movie has an upbeat twist (however unlikely) which helps salvage some of it, but the picture as a whole isn't a whole lot of fun to watch except for nice performances in some of the smaller parts including a fun scene with Billy Bob Thornton as a good old boy gun salesman, a navel gazing pot smoking pseudo-intellectual meander by John Cusack, and a fine performance by Maritza Rivera as John's girlfriend who knows what she wants.

Verdict: 2 stars (out of 4)

Posted by jeffy at March 15, 2003 12:33 AM