Genre: Comedy | Drama
Directed by: John Magary
Starring: Josh Lucas, Stephen Plunkett, Lucy Owen
Written by: John Magary, Russell Harbaugh (story), Myna Joseph (story)
Synopsis:A comic drama about rage, doubt, lust, madness, and other brotherly hand-me-downs.
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The Mend is one of those puzzling films where you don’t know if you just dislike it, or like it for the fact it’s so weird and different. Written and directed by John Magary the movie depicts anger, rage, sadness, jealously, any other ugly feeling you can think of. It’s an inside look of life in New York City, but not of the lavish Manhattan Wall Street types, rather the sad, drunk, and lost that are trying to make it through the struggles of life and their own mistakes.
Josh Lucas plays Mat, one of these unfortunate souls. There is nothing appealing and certainly nothing admirable about Mat. He has misogynistic qualities about him. The first scene of the movie is where Mat is kicked out of his girlfriend’s apartment after a domestic dispute, he runs out smirking and unfazed. That’s the kinda guy Mat is. No sense of reality, no motivation, drink and booze highlight his existence. He is one of the more vile characters you will see on film, although there is some reality to it, there are certainly people like him in the everyday world.
At a house party we are introduced to Mat’s brother Alan (Stephen Plunkett) and his girlfriend Farrah (Mickey Sumner) who are the hosts of a party consisting of a bunch of randoms that are there for no apparent reason. Alan and Farrah announce that they will be leaving on a vacation next morning, naturally Mat decides to move himself into the apartment as soon as they leave. Alan ends up returning from his trip prematurely only to find Mat, his girlfriend Andrea (Lucy Owen), and her son Ronnie (Cory Nichols) living in the apartment. Alan decides to sleep in a closet, and doesn’t speak out against the strangers who just moved into his place without any notice. This is just a sample of the bizarre nature of incidents that take place in the movie. Alan admits to Farrah breaking up with him, and finds himself in a state of disarray. Andrea, who appears to be the only person in the film with any sort of moral sensibility offers to be console the brokenhearted Alan, which leads Mat into a furious rage of jealousy.
Aside from Andrea and her son Ronnie, there are no morally conscious characters with redeeming qualities. Andrea clearly appears to be a victim of poor choices, she is used by everyone she gets close to, especially Mat. It’s hard to root or feel bad for anyone in this movie, though Magary does present these characters are extremely flawed, which in turn makes them interesting. These are people you might know or have heard about in your life, but are also the same people you don’t want to find yourself associated with or talking about. Trashy is a good way to describe them.
The only character with some feelings
I did find the movie to be fairly gloomy. No one gets a happy ending or “mends” their relationships or lives, however, that is true to reality in the sense that not everything turns out perfect at the end. I do appreciate Magary basing the film on this sort of realism. The script is fairly confusing to watch develop out on-screen, but it has a clever dialogue.
Josh Lucas really took a chance by taking on a role of a character that is certainly going to be disliked by the viewer. Credit to Lucas for stepping out of the Hollywood bubble and owning the role as he did. I feel like Magary’s message was to depict the lives of people who we as a society don’t care about much. People who don’t take responsibility for their actions or others feelings. The people who are lost in their lives, who we as a society just refer to as trash or bums.
This is as disheveled as you will ever see Josh Lucas
I can’t say I really enjoyed this movie, as I don’t think there is much to enjoy about it. It is very odd and confusing, but I appreciate how non-formulaic it was. It is true to it’s indie nature, abstract. I found my interest dipping and hoping for something positive or unexpected to happen, it never did. The movie left me with a sense of confusion and not caring once end credits rolled around. I think that actually fits perfectly with the mood of the movie, nobody cares, but you watch and hope someone starts to.
Runtime: 111 minutes
Release Date: August 21, 2015 (limited)
Nothing Gets Mended
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