Ruth (Sonja Bennett) has found herself in a very difficult situation - all of her good friends are married and expecting children, but she herself is unable to grow up. Ruth desperately wants to enjoy her time partying and having fun. But when her father, Walter (James Caan) tries to ascertain what she is doing with her life, she accidentally lies and tells him she is pregnant. With her family now believing she is ready to grow up and accept responsibility, Ruth is unable to break out of the lie she has created, and it is steadily getting harder and harder to pretend.
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Poor White Trash concerns Michael Bronco (Tony Denman), a small-town boy who wants nothing more than to be a psychologist. He spends his evenings talking about how his divorced mother's (Sean Young) anger towards her ex is a shield for her fear of abandonment, and spends his days raisin' hell with Ron Lake (William Devane). One day, the hell raisin' goes a little too far and the two find themselves in court, where they are convicted but get a suspended sentence due to the handiwork of the sleazy Lennie Lake (Jacob Tierney), a gold-toothed hick of a lawyer with a beer-can garden (you really have to witness this bizarre sight to believe it). Thinking that all is fine, the group goes off to celebrate, only to find out that Michael can't get into college now that he's been convicted of a crime.
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It's down at the donut shop that young Oliver (Joshua Close), a runaway who has grown up in foster homes, meets Dodge (Nick Stahl), a streetwise, hollow-eyed hustler who's always on the lookout for new recruits to present to the local pimp, Fagin (Gary Farmer). The thoroughly unpleasant Fagin, who usually greets his charges with a punch in the face when they return to the ratty hustler rooming house he runs, quickly brings the nervous Oliver into the fold. The only ray of light in this ugly world is Nancy (Michele-Barbara Pelletier), a friendly diner waitress who also happens to be the girlfriend of the unseen Bill Sykes, the terrifying mastermind who apparently controls the entire Toronto underworld, Fagin included.
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