27 April 2020 | mdinaz-80608
A lot of the reviewers focus on the waning punk scene of the Village in the early 80s, but this is really irrelevant to the movie. Wren, our heroine, is just one of thousands since the 1920s looking for "the dream" of success while living in a trash can or other men's pants. Susan Seidelman did an outstanding job of capturing the desperation, the hopelessness, the lies, the dirt, and the total narcissism required of pursuing "the dream". Aptly, in one scene we see anti-hero Eric's room mate reading a comic called "Despair". While I myself was once a musician in NY (but an hour north of the city), being awake for days going from work to practice to gigs and back to work again, I had long ago disabused myself the idea of "the dream" - I had decided I enjoyed eating and sleeping in my own home more important. Playing music was for fun. But I played with people exactly like this, including a female lead singer who had once led exactly a Wren-ful life of sleeping in the street or some guy's van just to survive. I even had my own situation as a skull full of mush where I found myself dragging a suitcase and a portable TV down a street 1500 miles from home with exactly enough money for a ticket back - leaving me with a dollar to last me three days, with which is more than Wren ended up. That final shot encapsulates the nightmare masquerading as a dream perfectly. "Smithereens" is nothing new - there are scores of movies since the silent era-days exactly like this. But capturing that mood so perfectly is pure art.
BTW - did anyone catch Chris Noth (of "Law and Order" fame) in the van?