To some extent, Hartley's second feature may be seen as a reprise of the small-town situations of The Unbelievable Truth. Again it stars Shelly as a disillusioned teenage brat, the slatternly Maria, whose admission that she is pregnant by her football jock boyfriend drives dad to keel over with a cardiac. Again she takes up with a serious young man with a history of violence: the volatile Martin (Donovan), whose rows with his father and his computer-manufacturer bosses induce ideas of suicide. Again, too, the couple's attempts to forge a trusting relationship, in the face of hostility, rumour and absurd notions of bourgeois respectability, are played out as deadpan farce. This is funnier and more stylish than its predecessor; and for all the bright, brash hues of Michael Spiller's sleek camerawork, it's also darker, slyly combining social comment and satire as it embraces issues like abortion, child abduction, sexual harassment and parental cruelty.