Thursday, June 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday Movie Review

I first saw this movie on the Sundance channel, and it was listed as "OK Garage." The TV listing had a more accurate description of the movie than this product description. I'm not sure which came first, the All Revved Up marketing or the OK Garage marketing, but they need to release the DVD under the OK Garage marketing...anyone who falls for the All Revved Up description will be expecting something else, and therefore disappointed with an indie movie that I think is surprisingly well done -- if you have the right expectations.

I had zero expectations the first time that I watched this movie, so I wasn't disappointed. The only reason I even watched it in the first place is because I love the three main actors (I thought it was great to see them all together in the same film): Will Patton as "Sean," John Turturro as "Johnny," and Lily Taylor as "Rachel." The plot is simple enough: a series of misfortunate encounters brings the three main characters together to demand a refund from a shady mechanic at the OK Garage. (By the way, I've watched it dozens of times, since then, and I still haven't gotten tired of it yet.)

I thought the title, OK Garage, worked on more than one level. There is nothing "ok" about anyone in this movie; for example, there is a small scene where a bartender who only has a few lines in the entire movie (who happens to be played by Turturro's cousin, an actress you might recognize from The Sopranos) tells Sean that she doesn't date...she'd sleep with him, but she won't date him (the way she blurts it out caught me off guard - I had to watch the scene more than once to catch what she says to Sean). Basically, everyone in this movie has some weird quirk about them, and it's refreshing; I get so tired of movies where everyone looks & acts perfect and live wonderful (unrealistic) lives. I also enjoyed the fact that the characters don't have the right answer for everything; they say disturbingly messed up things to one another (like Johnny admitting to Rachel that he watches his female neighbor undress), and it really propels the storyline in a unique manner.

Some of the scenes might seem unnecessary, such as Patton's scenes with Sean playing with his lizards as his boss accuses him of being a woman-hater, or Johnny discussing masturbating into a sink with another guy...but, not only does it add depth to the individual characters, it also helps you realize the personal obstacles they had to overcome to band together at the end, and right the wrong done to Rachel.

Johnny first meets Rachel through Sean, who lives in the same apartment building with Rachel. Johnny likes Rachel, but (even though the guy seriously needs to get laid) he sabotages himself if women show the slightest interest in him, and he's no different with Rachel (and Rachel likes to say crazy stuff as well, which makes for some great scenes between Turturro and Taylor). Rachel comes across as someone who doesn't like to rock the boat, even if she has every right to speak up and defend herself, but she doesn't want to be a troublemaker. As a result, Rachel is ripped off by a mechanic at the OK Garage, and Johnny convinces Sean that they have to do something to help her get her money back.

What none of them realize is that the mechanic is involved in a car theft ring, as well as some other a-hole characters that cause other problems for Sean and Johnny. In the end, by helping Rachel, Sean and Johnny end up helping themselves as well. I absolutely loved how all the various storylines came together at the end of the movie. Some of the scenes made me laugh; I'm not sure if they were supposed to be funny, but I found the characters to be very entertaining. Even the supporting cast did a fantastic job.

Will Patton has one of the absolute best lines/scene at the very end of the movie, as Sean poses a question to Johnny about Rachel. I don't want to give it away, but it is one of the best endings that I've ever seen in an indie movie.

Ignore the stupid "All Revved Up" marketing, and just watch this as a quirky indie movie to avoid being disappointed. If you are a fan of Patton, Turturro and/or Taylor, this is a must have for your movie collection.

As always,

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