Fast Food, Fast Women

"OK"

Fast Food, Fast Women Review


"Fast Food, Fast Women" is a considerably imperfect movie, the intangible charm of which has to grow on you.

Most everything wrong with it can be summed up by the fact that it absolutely screams "my first low-budget indie," yet writer-director Amos Kollek has been making movies for 15 years (all small independent films, straight-to-videos or quickie sequels).

It's uneven and under-rehearsed. It's clear that Kollek had only one or two takes to choose from in editing some scenes. It has all the trappings of a Woody Allen wannabe, including Allenesque opening credits, Allenesque handheld camerawork, an Allenesque ensemble ranging in age and recognition, Allenesque quirky characters (how about a stuttering hooker?) and nervously insecure Allenesque leads. The picture even co-stars Louise Lasser ("Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"), Woody Allen's ex-wife and frequent collaborator.

But despite gross imitation and immature filmmaking, at the heart of "Fast Food" is an ensemble of characters -- vaguely interconnected New Yorkers fed up with looking for love after a certain age -- that, given time, you really begin to care about.

Bella (Anna Thompson) is a weary, rail-thin 35-year-old waitress whose stalled-out existence and romantic life as the long-neglected mistress of a Broadway director would trouble her even if she didn't have to put up with the disappointed belittlings of her house-in-the-Hamptons mother (Judith Roberts).

She's set up on a date with Bruno (Jamie Harris), a cocky jerk of a Don Juan taxi driver and an irresponsible absentee father to boot. Bruno is the guy who won me over to a positive review when I realized I'd grown to like him as he evolved into someone with a soul.

Paul (Robert Modica) is a widowed retiree on the verge of depression. He hangs around with a band of old buddies ("The other day I was sitting in the park drinking my prune juice...") who still talk about sex like randy teenage boys but are, in fact, even more miserable than Paul.

After desperation misfires with a few younger women (including the stuttering hooker), he meets Emily (Lasser), a flaky, equally lonely and twice as desperate woman his own age. They walk on eggshells through the awkwardness of their first dates in 40 years and soon start to feel that old spark again.

But "Fast Food, Fast Women" is not a movie about romance or how people find each other. It's more a movie about all the obstacles in the way of people finding each other. It's about the fact that people don't always grow more confident and more comfortable with themselves as they age.

Kollek is an amateurish writer and director, front-loading his characters with transparently cute quirks (Bella worries about the health of the mice in her apartment) and creating scenes that feel terribly staged. His actors seem to be winging it half the time, but mostly they're talented enough to rise to the occasion. At first it seems their performances are a little stilted, but slowly it becomes clear that it's the characters themselves who are stiff and uneasy.

The writer-director also feels obligated to give one of the characters a ridiculous, urban fairy-tale kind of payoff in the last act that almost sinks the movie with the way it jettisons any modicum of plausibility. The viewer has to willingly write off these kinds of problematic absurdities along with the movie's other unavoidable shortcomings and contrivances to get to the meat in "Fast Food."

But if you're willing to look for it, there is warmth and empathy at the core of this movie that can overcome everything about it that's frustrating.



Fast Food, Fast Women

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 6th September 2000

Distributed by: Lot 47 Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Bella

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.