Audrey the Trainwreck
Directed by Frank V. Ross
Ross is associated with what we'll continue to call the mumblecore movement until somewhat can come up with a better idea, but here the glancing-about handheld camera and overheard dialogue feels less casual than restless, like looking over someone's shoulder while you're talking to him at a party. The antsiness is cued to Ron Hogan (Anthony Baker), a Dockers-class office worker, reluctantly proficient internet dater, and accumulator of minor insults and injuries—the film opens on a darts-related mishap, and the undercutting slapstick tone persists amid grievances logged with squabbling roommate, numbing routine, happy loving couples over for drinks, and a relative stranger too quick to deride the job Ron so evidently hates.
Ron's irritability is contextualized by Ross's smart sense of bland, flickering-florescent place, and takes on shape and weight when he begins seeing Stacy (Alexi Wasser), a bluer-collar, slightly less educated delivery girl far more alienated from her social circle—she's the blond bride's passive old friend at a chattering wedding shower, while Ron has rambling ranting friends and intramural volleyball losses to endure. They bond while learning to articulate their respective senses of loneliness—and here Ross's lo-fi aesthetic and way of sticking with a roundabout conversation feels necessary. It's rare, in movies, to see watch two people come together into an imbalanced but potentially workable relationship—the ending is sweet but also bracing, almost a cliffhanger.
Opens July 23 at reRun Gastropub Theater