Directed by Hal Hartley
I watched this film yesterday with my mother. Having exposed her to all sorts of horrors from The List (including Koyaanisqatsi and Atlantic City come to mind), I was quite nervous about this one. Thankfully, this turned out to be a strange but enjoyable comedy and a vast improvement from The Unbelievable Truth.
Maria is a knocked up high school drop out. When she tells her family about her pregnancy, her father dies of a heart attack, leading her psychopathic mother to promise that Maria will "pay." Maria is then dumped by her boyfriend, presumably for "letting herself" get pregnant (whatever that means). Meanwhile, Matthew is an intelligent, socially conscious young man who is frequently abused by his tyrannical father. Instead of just punching his dad in the face (because honestly, he could take him) he carries around a grenade that he fantasizes about setting off. You know that Maria and Matthew will hit it off, because apparently Adrienne Shelley loves men with deep-seated emotional issues.
It is hard not to compare this to The Unbelievable Truth, as it is the same actress, the same director, and the same weird take on suburban lives. Trust is superior in almost every way. The dialogue is much more believable and beautiful here. The dialogue in The Unbelievable Truth almost sounded anachronistic at times and just didn't have the same flow. Matthew Slaughter is also a much better character than Josh Hutton. Matthew is just as odd as Josh, but he is a bit more accessible.
A great comedy and one that makes me wish there were more Hartley films on the List. Obviously, I can only watch his movies if the supreme dictators allow it.
Shot in 11 days.
Hartley was so entranced with Shelley's performance in The Unbelievable Truth that he made this movie right afterwards, despite not having the time or the money for filming.