When Andy Warhol put his friends in his movies, they had the kindness to pretend to a certain amount of fabulousness. Not so the denizens of the desperately indie mumblecore movement (already exhausted), which, for the most part, eschews not only attractiveness and grandeur, but also dramatic incident. Very often during Beeswax, an Austin-set fall-asleep-orama set around a vintage clothing store, you’ll find yourself wondering, Why is this a movie again? Its central adult sisters—twin siblings in real life—are pleasant enough. Jeannie (Tilly Hatcher) has pink streaks in her blond locks and sits in an uncommented-upon wheelchair; Lauren (Maggie Hatcher), who lives with her, is a freelance teacher and drifting spirit.
Their creator is writer-director Andrew Bujalski, also the maker of the marginally more interesting Funny Ha Ha (2002) and its bona fide improvement, Mutual Appreciation (2005). There is no denying that he has an ear for the slurred, unpresentational dialogue of cryptocoy hipsters, but you wait for something significant to happen in Beeswax and have to settle for management problems at Jeannie’s shop and a doting ex-boyfriend about to take the bar exam. (The idea of any Bujalski character litigating is a scary one.) Those who see strength in the film’s modesty are settling for too little.—Joshua Rothkopf
Opens Fri; Film Forum. Find showtimes