The characters are so much like real people I have seen so often, all the outrageous behavior and insanity. Finding love in the times of moral depravation is a constant theme and it is fairly established that Billy has had a tormented childhood. He has grown up to become a very sentimental and emotional person in spite of his parents being uninterested and disconnected up to the point that the family seems severely dysfunctional. Contributing much to the introvert and overtly acidic nature of Billy. It is quite understandable. As to why Layla(Ricci) seems so jaded and emotionally unaffected, is not explained but it could be due to her bleak and isolated environment. The way she never tries to run away or raise an alarm when she has a chance, even though she is being abducted makes me feel that she somewhat needed to be rescued herself from the boring life she was in. In a way she wanted it to happen or she just started enjoying it. The Camera work is just brilliant, the perspective angles of view while Billy, his parents and Layla are having lunch is something I would forever remember. The memories and flashback are something that makes this movie go forward but in a very distinctive way. A benevolent but pushed down friend(Goon) and that he is always sleeping in his briefs whenever Billy calls him, Houston's performance of Billy's football fanatic mom and his foolish desperate act that landed him in jail at the first place are all hilarious and seem commonplace enough to be convincing. The heart shaped cookie and hot chocolate scene makes the movie almost cute. Ricci is one of my favourite actresses and she is one of those rare actors who can tell it all through their eyes. The movie never fails to satisfy my imagination. At the end the sudden reversal of Billy is just coming of age. There may be a few proponents of an alternate ending where Billy kills wood and himself out of years old hatred. That would have made the movie shocking but it would have had no hope. So the ending couldn't have been better. Vincent Gallo's performance is amazingly erratic and a good study for theatrical purposes. It's all about a man struggling to stay sane in an insane world.