Trixie Movie Review

It's a damn shame when a bad movie happens to a great actor. It's even worse when you try to enjoy their performance in the film while being distracted by a terrible wasteland of a script. Such is the sad case of Alan Rudolph's latest "screwball noir" farce, Trixie, a misguided attempt at expanding the noir genre by giving it a comedic twist.

Everything seemed to be in place to make a good film out of Trixie, starting with a great cast of Nick Nolte, Will Patton, Dermot Mulrooney, newcomer Brittany Murphy, Nathan Lane, and the wonderfully versatile actress Emily Watson. The story follows a misunderstood girl named Trixie, who has an annoying habit of mixing up her metaphors - with such memorable lines as "life is no bed of gravy" and "it's like looking through a needle for a haystack." Trixie holds dead-end jobs as a security guard for low-rent department stores but yearns for something better in her life. Don't we all. Eventually she takes a job at a casino resort as an undercover cop and gets involved in a tangled mess of a political sex scandal/murder mystery. Don't you just hate when that happens?!

A slew of characters that seem drawn from the well of mediocrity and melodrama entertain and challenge Trixie as she searches for the truth in a sea of misplaced plot points. Nathan Lane hams it up as a washed-up lounge singer, Will Patton growls through lines as a corrupt businessman, Dermot Mulroney tries to act sincere as a knucklehead of a ladies man, Lesley Ann Warren is just plain annoying as a sex tart, and Nick Nolte is a politician playing... Nick Nolte.

The one bright light in the film is Watson, proving she can go from a depressed Irish mother of a million kids in last year's Angela's Ashes to a wisecracking working class Chicago chick who knows how to hold her own. The film starts off with a bang by giving the audience a strange look at Trixie's life and the way she interacts with the things and people around her. It seems she strives to remain true to her beliefs and her actions despite her failure at communicating with others.

Director Alan Rudolph speaks of this film as an examination of communication and how people interact with one another, yet never seem to understand each other completely. The main problem is that he never succeeds in delivering an interesting product for review. The first half-hour is solid and moves with purpose. The last hour and half simply sink under the movie's, and Rudolph's, pretentious voice.

Big wheel, keep on turnin'.


Comments

Trixie Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 2000

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