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River of Grass


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Product Details

  • Actors: Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Michael Buscemi, Lisa Bowman, Santo Fazio
  • Directors: Kelly Reichardt
  • Writers: Kelly Reichardt, Jesse Hartman
  • Producers: Larry Fessenden, Jesse Hartman, Susan A. Stover
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007M5HS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,038 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "River of Grass" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Drive-by outtakes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This sly low-budget movie, sort of a suburban noir set in North Miami (only a short distance away from the Everglades, the "river of grass"), has an almost documentary feel to its tale of a lost gun that ends up in the wrong hands. Cozy (Lisa Bowman), an unhappy housewife, goes swimming with a guy named Lee (Larry Fessenden) whom she meets at a bar, who has this gun that was lost by the side of the road. When Cozy accidentally shoots at someone with this gun, they go on the lam--and Cozy discovers that her impending life of crime gives her existence more meaning than her drab life as a mother. Not everyone will find this movie's sardonic portrait of incompetence and disappointment funny, but for those who do, River of Grass has a deadpan comic style that makes it more engaging than much more expensive movies. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LGwriter on October 8, 2006
Format: DVD
Directed by Kelly Reichardt, whose most recent effort, Old Joy (2006) has been getting great reviews, River of Grass is a kind of nose-thumbing take on film noir on-the-lam road movies, the grand-daddy of which has to be the seminal and amazing Gun Crazy (1949). As in that film--as well as quite a few since--there's a girl and a guy. But in this case, the girl is an unhappy housewife and the guy is a jobless drifter who accidentally comes into possession of a gun.

And in fact, the gun belongs to the girl's father, a detective on the local (read: somewhere in south Florida, near the Everglades) police force. The detective and his cop buddies are shown, not as dumbbells or geniuses either, but as regular guys who are mostly fed up with their lives. What's interesting, among other things, about this film is that the father is an amateur jazz drummer and the film, divided into numbered parts (i.e., we see "1", "2", etc. displayed on screen for each part), each of which is accompanied by the sound of the father's jazz drumming, which lends a kind of mocking takeoff on suspense to the proceedings.

This is not a great film, but it's one with a sharp sense of biting humor, especially at the end, when the girl--played by Lisa Bowman--gets completely fed up with her road partner Lee (Larry Fessenden) and takes appropriate action. Before that, the two of them think they've killed someone, which is the basis for their going on the lam. But this ostensibly crime-fueled road trip is stymied by Lee's total wimpiness.

He can't or won't hit on Cozy (the girl), even though she's decidedly sensuous. He doesn't take chances; he has basically no cajones. Sometimes he talks about his insecurities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By avoraciousreader on April 28, 2011
Format: DVD
River of Grass
dir Kelly Reichardt 1995

Dysfunctionals on the Lam 3*

I largely agree with reviewer LGwriter, though I'd say the film is more a takeoff on Badlands than on classic noir. Perhaps I haven't seen enough noir on-the-lam films. Whichever.

I won't go into a plot synopsis, since LGwriter and the Amazon reviewer, Bret Fetzer, do a good job of that. I'm basically here to chime in on the lukewarm response, to offset the handful of 5*, seeming sock puppet (i.e. friends and family), reviews.

This is not a BAD film, and there are aspects and moments of interest, but it's certainly not one I'll be revisiting anytime soon. I like quirky indies, even if they may be technically lacking. But they have to have something else to draw me in, and this one just didn't for me.

On the plus side, at least for some, it does share the whole slacker aesthetic, aging 20-somethings with no ambition or future. And there is a certain amount of sly -- or, as Fetzer says, deadpan -- humor. Almost embalmed.

But it also suffers from, and in my opinion does not rise above, the problems of a low budget indie and freshman effort. Particularly annoying was the seeming lack of script, with scenes or shots holding much longer than needed, unless the purpose was to convey -- no, induce -- boredom, as in driving down the highway with cars passing to right and left. Repeatedly. And in spite of the occasional highway signs, I was often confused as to where we were or were going. Or which house we were at (one single story stucco house with Floridian vegetation looks pretty much like another to me -- sets and camera angles could have been chose to enhance clarity).

Bottom line recommendation?
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
If you like good movies see this one, becuase indy movies are the best!
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Indy? Indy what???????
This independent film is not Indy....it is The Everglades......EVERGLADES......IN FLORIDA!!!
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