Normal Life

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This 'true life' crime drama may not view love as a form of pathological delusion, but it sure paints a cynical portrait of suburban alienation, particularly within marriage. The film straddles the territory between freewheeling 'couple on the lam' actioner and darker domestic drama, but isn't settled in either. There are three main characters. Perry is rookie cop Chris, a neat and sober, military moustachioed man who falls for star-gazing, self-mutilating, probably suicidal wild card Pam (Ashley Judd, playing it like she's in an Abel Ferrara movie). The third character (as in My New Gun) is an automatic weapon, introduced to Pam by Chris on their first date at the Chicago cops' indoor shooting range. As the film traces the arc of Chris and Pam's relationship - an at times bloody battle of diametrically opposed aspirations, coursing through credit card debt, housekeeping arguments and bank-robbing methods - the gun increasingly becomes the third member in a destructive ménage-à-trois, not least in terms of sexual symbolism. The flattened non-judgmental style pays dividends in some highly evocative scenes - the cold discomfort of a marriage ceremony echoing to the sound of Pam's dying father's cough - but in most it seems clumsy and over-emphatic.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John McNaughton
Screenwriter: Peg Haller, Bob Schneider
Cast: Luke Perry
Ashley Judd
Bruce Young
Jim True
Dawn Maxey
Scott Cummins
Kate Walsh
Penelope Milford
Tom Towles
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