Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stuart'S Good One: Stuck (2007)

How have I gone this long without reviewing this one?  I've owned this movie for quite awhile (having bought it during the original Blockbuster Closing Bonanza) and yet...I didn't review it.  Weird.  After getting a surprisingly-quick reply from Director Stuart Gordon on Twitter, I realized my error.  Let's fix that?  Stuck is based loosely on a real story that happened in Texas.  In the story, a 'career woman' hits and kills a homeless man, but decides to go on with her life.  In real life, she's currently in Jail (with possible Parole in 2027).  The case inspired an Episode of both C.S.I. and Law & Order, as well two films (counting this one).  It also inspired a sub-plot on Drawn Together- my favorite Cartoon Show of recent memory.  Gordon's film changes things up quite a bit, but touches upon the key moments.  Mena Suvari does a good job of playing a real character that you understand and can relate to before shit goes down.  The same goes for Stephen Rea, who plays the guy who's life has gone to hell before shit goes down.  You want to know if this film- which some people are not clear on whether or not it is a Comedy or not- is worth your attention.  To find out, read on...
Suvari is a low-paid Nurse in an Assisted-Living Facility.  Life is all about scraping by in her shitty (sometimes literally) job that she just doesn't like it.  Getting plastered at a 'Dive Bar' is her solace.
Rea is a man who has shit go down really, really fast.  He loses his job.  He loses his Apartment.  He is forced out on the Street with all of his possessions.

That's when things really go wrong.
That fateful night, Rea is crossing the Street when Suvari crashes into him.  He is grievously-wounded and, more importantly, gets stuck.

Ha ha ha- title line.
He's alive, shockingly, and begs for her to help him.  She...decides to think about it and, by that, I mean...
...she goes and has sex with her boyfriend.  No, she didn't tell him.
'Yeah, don't worry- I'm fine.  It's just a series of major, life-threatening flesh wounds."
Suvari faces some serious trouble due to the major accident that has left a man dying in her garage.  That trouble:  showing up late to work!

Oh and she just casually asks her boyfriend to kill the guy.
Who lives?  Who dies?  I won't SPOIL that, save for showing you the 'Corman Ending' (just burning the set when you're done with it).  The End.
There are worse ways to get Stuck than this!  Wow- I can see why they didn't stick that Tagline on the DVD Box!  All joking aside, this is a really-underrated gem.  It is a Dark Comedy with a heart.  Gordon could have easily made Suvari's character a blank slate that does something wrong.  Instead, she's a real person who makes one really big mistake and it just grows exponentially from there.  She doesn't set out to kill a guy, but, by the end, that's her goal.  Likewise, Rea's character makes you feel for his declining life and then hope that he can survive his long ordeal.  I'm not as in love with the Boyfriend character, but he's not nearly as much of a character.  The whole thing is not always the film that you think that it is going to be.  If you're still on the fence, I can tell you that Jeffrey Combs is in it (although I won't say how or when).  As a bonus, this 2007 film stands as a reminder of a better brick-and-mortar Video Store-based time...
Next up, I cover a film that is just bound to disappoint.  Wrestlers, Zombies and Aliens- oh my!  Stay tuned...

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