70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
An Unheralded Classic Black Comedy....Highly Recommended !!!,
This review is from: Freeway (DVD)
A 15-year-old illiterate girl named Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon, about 19 at the time) lives in a crummy motel with her lunatic, methadone-addicted, prostitute mother (Amanda Plummer in an incredible performance) and crack-smoking, child-molesting step father (Michael T. Weiss, of The Pretender, as you have never seen him....before or since). When mom and dad get arrested for about the 100th time, poor young Vanessa evades Child Protective Services custody, gets a gun from her black, gangster fiance (Bokeem Woodbine) who can't join her because of a parole hearing in the morning and who is immediately murdered in a drive-by shooting, and, wearing a red jacket and carrying a basket, she heads for Grandma's house (ala Little Red Riding Hood), only to have car trouble and be picked up by the dreaded I-5 rapist, pederast, and serial murderer (Keiffer Sutherland)....now here is the best part: this is a COMEDY !!!
Granted, it is the blackest of dark comedies, but make no mistake, this gem offers some of the most hilarious dialog and situations you will even see on film. Brilliantly written and directed by newcomer Matthew Bright, it features superb performances by a remarkable cast, including an almost unrecognizable Brittany Murphy as a deranged, paint-sniffing lesbian with a face that is hacked up like a post-Christmas ham.
Possibly due to its unorthodox tone and content, this 1996 masterpiece never received the marketing and public release it deserved, but was still selected by critics (including Roger Ebert) as one of the finest films of the year.
If you want to see a performance by Reese Witherspoon that makes all her subsequent roles, including Ring of Fire, look like high school plays, then please give this DVD a try. It isn't the cute, cuddly, predictable Reese of recent times, but an infinitely more entertaining, gun-toting, butt-kicking, foul-mouthed wild woman who doesn't take kindly to those who dare to treat her with disrespect. Like Kill Bill and True Romance, this movie features strong women in situations where attempted victimization by men inevitably leads to mayhem....and a lot of dead, disfigured men.
This is a very special movie that will appeal to those who enjoy the gritty action and dark comedic aspects of movies like Pulp Fiction, True Romance, and Kill Bill. Matthew Bright hit a major home run on his first time up to bat and has, unfortunately, struck out since. His DVD commentary track will help you understand and appreciate the intricacies of this truly great movie and the personal, somewhat bizarre eccentricities of the director who made it all happen.