[This originally appeared on www.moviewallas.com]
LOITERING WITH INTENT is a light-hearted lark of a film.
It is a film about film. If it comes off a bit lighter than expected, it is only because one expects a film with Marisa Tomei and Sam Rockwell, two of the more woefully underemployed actors in Hollywood, to be outright implosive. The film is going for a gentle, messy, wistful, stage comedy-like affect.
Directed by Adam Rapp, the film is about Dominic and Raphael, your prototypical out of work New York actors (played by Michael Godere and Ivan Martin) who head out to the countryside quiet of Upstate New York to churn out a script in ten days in order to get funding for the resulting film they can also star in. But silent respite is not theirs for the taking. Dominic’s force-of-nature sister (Marisa Tomei) descends upon the place licking her wounds from having separated from her unstable boyfriend. Other unexpected guests include a free-spirit bombshell (Isabelle McNally) and the said boyfriend (Sam Rockwell) who shows up with a buddy (Brian Geraghty, making good of the best lines from the script). And you know that this being a particular kind of film, old grievances will surface, new alliances will form, and everyone will get drunk one night and do things they will eventually regret. It is all out of the standard film script playbook. But these actors, seasoned and newcomers alike, are an inherently likeable lot and they keep the goings-on reasonably grounded. If anything I wish the film had a stronger, heftier emotional pull.
The script is ‘in the know’ about the New York film scene, and there are cinema references aplenty, and even though the writing is occasionally uneven, the whole enterprise makes for an engaging overall product. It’s the sort of film you watch with a smile on your face the entire time.
LOITERING WITH INTENT screened at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and is awaiting distribution.