Rockwell's shambolic follow-up to In the Soup fails to confirm whatever promise the earlier film suggested. Mercedes, an LA taxi dancer, steps on a few toes in her determination to make it big in pictures. She has a thing going with a one-time bit-part actor (Keitel), but can't entirely resist the innocent courtship of a Mexican immigrant labourer (DeLorenzo). When it falls to a benevolent old gangster (Quinn) to play cupid, it's pretty clear we're back 'In the Soup'. Rockwell favours long takes and authentic locations, but his movie stumbles from one actory moment to the next: Keitel in a gorilla suit, Buscemi in drag. At times the film feels like a throwback to the '60s New Wave, with its Sam Fuller cameo and nods to Fellini, at others it resembles one long Rosie Perez audition tape (she sings! she dances! she does improv!). It's a credit to Perez that the story holds together at all (she can practise elocution brushing her teeth with a book on her head, and make it seem natural), but the film's occasional virtues don't survive a prevailing sense of self-indulgence.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Sergei Bodrov, Alexandre Rockwell|