The film is a classic of 1990's indie culture, and as a classic of 1990's indie culture it is filled with 1990's indie clichés. It is also about as charming as a film can be.

The plot - a guy gets out of prison, which he was in because he took the rap for someone else in order to repay a debt to a bookie. When he gets out of jail he kidnaps a girl and tells her that he wants her to pretend to be his wife when he sees his parents, she agrees... for some reason. His parents really couldn't give a damn that he's been gone, and aren't really paying attention to the lies he's telling them about where he's been. The girl plays her part well, and afterwards keeps hanging around him. She really is in love with the guy for some reason, she keeps telling him he's nice and sweet, and eventually he stops being a bastard. He becomes nice and sweet, and buys her a heart shaped cookie.

The point of the movie is really a part of the cliché. The point being that people are a product of their environment, and that you can change people by believing in them. There is a series of moments where people are spotlighted because they are showing off their special talent, and the film describes the kind of human underside of calloused people, and the kind of human love needed to bring that human side out.... One doesn't really get that at first viewing though, because the characters aren't so much calloused as they are quirky, though another indie cliche, it is more charming then the "moral" of the story.

The best scene in the film by far, is the "spanning time" scene, the guy wants the girl to take pictures with him for his parents, but he always gets mad because she ruins the photos by making faces, kissing him, smiling, etc... she wants to make it look like they are a couple who is happy together. He tells her thats not what he wants at all, he wants to look like a couple that is "spanning time" together.

Any quick transcription of how he describes spanning time would not make it sound charming, but if you mention 'spanning time' to any young person who likes Indie movies, and was between 16 and 25 when this film came out, they might swoon. Because the tone that he describes 'not smiling and having fun, just spanning time,' makes it seem sweet, cute, kind of funny. It makes it seem as though you would want to span time with the guy. What the moment really describes, is the value of spending time with someone, absent of the content. Even people acting like bastards can be charming in their way, and ultimatly have value. (See What is Cinema #3 for more about this)

What makes the film really work, and makes the clichés less noticable then in some other indie films, is the fact that the unlovable characters really are lovable. The film is about the value of being with someone, and we, as the audience, enjoy being with the film. Whether being a bastard or not, the characters are describing how good we feel about them.

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