A neurotic nebbish lives in 2 worlds: the fantasy of winning his dream-girl via a hit movie, and the meager existence he scrapes out from very odd jobs, such as thesping in an arty ... See full summary »
Things aren't going so well for Tommy Basilio. He lost his job because he "borrowed" money from the register, his girlfriend left him for his boss and is now pregnant, and he can't find work because of the incident. His life revolves around the Trees Lounge, a neighborhood bar over which he lives, full of the colorful eccentrics one finds in such places, like the estranged husband, or the old boozer drinking himself to death. He drunkenly wanders through his life, still in love with his ex, desperate for some sort of meaning beyond the bar, some sort of meaning to his life. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
About eight minutes in, just before Tommy (Steve Buscemi) drives up to the garage, where he has dialogue with Johnny the mechanic (John Ventimiglia) about his car's problem, he passes a parking lot. Walking towards the lot are three men wearing dark suits walking together in the distance. It was originally thought of as Buscemi's homage to his first big movie role, Reservoir Dogs (1992), but when asked, Buscemi said it was just a coincidence. See more »
During the opening credits, an old man at the bar orders a large glass of liquor, filled with ice. In the next shot, there's no ice in the glass. However, this is a deliberate technique by the director to indicate the passing of time at Trees Lounge. See more »
Billy, Stan got new glasses.
Show him your glasses.
He don't like 'em.
Get ready, Bill.
[puts glasses on]
You look like an idiot.
Go fuck, Billy!
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Small town deadbeat Tommy, spends the majority of his time drinking at the Trees Lounge and trying to find comfort with anything in a skirt. Meanwhile his ex-best friend is with his ex-girlfriend who may or may not be carrying Tommy's child. Tommy drifts day to day before finding himself a job and a new friend.
This was Buscemi's first attempt as director and is semi-autobiographical in it's plot. Plot, however is a poor way to describe this film's story. Rather it is an amusing character piece, following Tommy through his life. Tommy is likeable but is also selfish, clueless, aimless and friendless. We like him because he has a good loser-quality to him that brings part sympathy and part empathy. During the film he hurts many through his selfish actions and his life is consistently aimless and pointless. However it still manages to be interesting because of Tommy. Even when I didn't care about him the story had enough good support characters and goings on to keep me interested.
Buscemi as actor is just as good doing a weasely version of himself but managing to keep him just likeable enough to get by. It something about the way that Tommy clearly hurts himself all the way that makes it hard to dislike him. The support cast are all very good. Junior, Kane et al do well as the various barflies while LaPaglia, Bracco, Baldwin, Imperioli, Rogers and Jackson all deliver well on their various roles. Sevingy is very good again in another sexually laced child role but I'm glad she's not been typecast too much since Kids.
Overall this is plot light but is still interesting, amusing and enjoyable. Buscemi directs with a light touch and keeps everything light until the sombre final shot.
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