Archives for posts with tag: Matthew Modine

Wow, positive thinking really does work. A woman, getting dumped on from all directions, finds her husband in flagrante delicto and absurdly dark comic hijinks ensue in “Breaking News in Yuba County” (2021). It’s not Shakespeare, but if “A Comedy of Errors” met “Hamlet” in small-town Kentucky… maybe not, but there’s definitely a full-on competition between cases of mistaken identity and cases of homicide. Allison Janney convincingly connives atop an ensemble of bad daughters (Awkafina), bad cops (Regina Hall) and bad sisters (Mila Kunis). If you think almost all the characters are annoying – I know I did – just be patient.

Matthew Modine wrote a screenplay for a movie. That he directed. And starred in. What could go wrong? The road to straight-to-DVD hell is paved with films like “If… Dog… Rabbit” (2002). I’m sure the intentions were good. Just like Modine’s character, the cliché son from a white-trash family who is back from prison, vowing to stay clean. And just like the carefully planned caper that Modine gets sucked into because, well, because that’s how these movies go. It would be a harmless B-movie, except it (meaning Modine) doesn’t realize it isn’t any better than that. Just like Modine’s character.

It’s one of those movies with a bunch of seemingly unrelated story lines that somehow are supposed to come together. It’s one of those movies with an eclectic ensemble of veteran stars (Jack Lemmon!), up-and-comers (Julianne Moore!) and WTFs (Huey Lewis?). It’s one of those Robert Altman movies. So you know all the critics and artsy-fartsy types loved “Short Cuts” (1993). I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Twenty-two major characters, and not a one of them is likeable. They’re all somewhere on a continuum from pathetic to despicable. I get it, Robert. Life in L.A. sucks. Your point?