Greetings again from the darkness. Watching someone whose life has crumbled due to guilt, grief or drugs makes for an uncomfortable movie to view, but when one character has been crushed by all three, it results in the ultimate downer. Director and co-writer Tim McCall subjects us to life in the proverbial gutter – despite lead character Sonny’s distorted hope.
Sam Trammell (“True Blood”) plays Sonny, a messy drug-addict living in a seedy motel and rummaging through the underbelly of his town. Sonny is trying to arrange a face to face meeting with his estranged wife on their wedding anniversary, so that he can apologize for his behavior during the marriage and during marriage counseling. The problem is that she won’t return his calls, and her family understandably blocks his efforts to make contact. Heck, seems to only own one shirt and he’s not even sure what day it is!
His plan involves stealing the necklace he bought for her during better times – when he owned a business and they had a beautiful home in the suburbs. He later pawned the necklace, which leads to the burglary. Of course, as viewers we quickly gather that his efforts are without hope, though we assume it’s due to his disgusting appearance and inability to stay clean.
Sonny’s wife is played by Trammell’s real life girlfriend Missy Yager, and Vanessa Ferlito (Grindhouse: Death Proof) has a key role as a tough lady who recognizes an opportunity when she sees it … an, though this could never be mistaken for a nature documentary, she teaches us a difference between farm geese and wild geese. But this is Sam Trammell’s spotlight much like Trainspotting belonged to a young Ewen MacGregor. He tears into the not-so-sympathetic Sonny with abandon and a total lack of ego.
Director McCann and Mr. Trammell team up for a gritty and grimy look at the tragic fall from society of a man who made mistakes and refused to own up to them. Filmed in Alexandria, Louisiana, the title describes what we see (outside of the flashbacks), and the musical choices are very fitting – especially Marian Anderson’s “Poor Me”. Don’t expect joyful moments or a story of redemption … life isn’t always like the movies.