Trees Lounge

"Very Good"

Trees Lounge Review


Get this tagline for Trees Lounge: "A story about one man's search... for who knows what." That could describe quite well writer/director/star Steve Buscemi during his creation of this film, a quirky and melodramatic tragicomedy about... who knows what.

Buscemi plays Tommy, a regular guy in Long Island whose life is basically a series of alcoholic binges, sprinkled with failed love affairs, cheap drugs, and terminal unemployment. A parade of supporting characters (all played by Buscemi's personal friends) run in and out of his life, and everyone tries to make some sense of it all.

The Trees Lounge is the unfortunately-named bar where Tommy spends virtually all of his time. It's the kind of joint where a guy can walk into one night and come back out 20 years later, wondering where his life went. It's the kind of place you can almost smell -- or maybe that was just the movie theater's goo-encrusted floor.

I get the feeling that Trees Lounge is the movie that all filmmakers are secretly dying to make -- a personal portrait of simple life, nothing but depression all the way. The reason this kind of movie doesn't get made more often is because (1) no studio in their right mind would let someone do such a thing [case in point: Trees Lounge is being released by the only-recently-out-of-bankruptcy Orion Pictures], and (2) when you get down to brass tacks, not many people really want to make a movie about someone that's more pathetic than they are.

Still, I've got to admire Buscemi for doing it anyway. Buscemi has complained in interviews about having trouble writing the script for Trees Lounge, and it shows, but at least he doesn't let the self-pity get too thick, applying liberal doses of comedy to counter the tragic underscore of the film. Overall, he ends up with a picture that isn't half bad, but which just doesn't make for a light matinee and certainly isn't "fun for the whole family."

As a director, Buscemi isn't awful, but he isn't great. As far as his casting choices, they're fine, except for his breaking of the cardinal rule that Daniel Baldwin should never be allowed to be in a movie. Chloe Sevigny (Kids) is a fun Lolita, and minor roles like Bronson Dudley's eternal barfly are a scream, and they really show Buscemi's knack for comedy. Let's hope he explores this a little more in his next offering.

P.S. Be sure to watch for the cameo by the faux-Reservoir Dogs (it's in the first five minutes).

The glass is more than just half empty in Trees Lounge.



Trees Lounge

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th October 1996

Distributed by: Live Home Video

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 21 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Tommy, as Debbie, as Connie, as Mike, as Bill, as Rob, as Raymond, as Theresa, as Stan, Samuel L. Jackson as Wendell

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.