17 July 2006 | skymovies
No Caan do
This have-a-go, first-time directing effort from actor Scott Caan strives for the cool quirkiness of True Romance but falls into an MTV-style wasteland.
An erratic modern-day western, it's the story of Rusty (Hatosy), a young man whose mum (Lynch) moved away from Dallas when Rusty's rodeo-performer dad bit the dust.
Shortly after arriving in their new hometown, Rusty became firm friends with fellow hellraiser Dallas (Caan). They've been inseparable ever since, sharing the same grotty pad and making money any which way they can.
But the beer-and-broads lifestyle has run its course for Rusty. He wants out of Dodge, even if it means leaving his best buddy behind.
His mum's psychiatrist boyfriend Bob (Goldblum) helps him through his dilemma. Bob's cool he doesn't judge and he never turns down a spliff.
Rusty's mind is made up when Dallas hits upon the bright idea of jacking in the debt-collection lark to rob his bookie boss, while simultaneously agreeing to be the getaway driver on another job.
Cue many exchanges along the lines of "Are you retarded? Are you a retarded person? Have you lost your mind?" Flaws are acceptable in debut films but dodgy improvisation can be edited out. Or the scenes redone.
On paper, the cast is excellent. Like many other actors who make the switch behind the camera, Caan appears to have cashed in a few favours.
However, Marley Shelton vanishes after a single scene and Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Freddie Rodriguez (Six Feet Under) and Selma Blair display embarrassingly poor improvisational skills. And the less said about Val Lauren's ridiculous turn as the local loser, the better.
Caan doesn't overstretch himself either, with Dallas being a copy of his bone-headed characters from Gone In 60 Seconds and Ocean's Eleven/Twelve.
Much-needed empathy comes from Hatosy as Rusty struggles to solve his friend-or-future conundrum. Jeff Goldblum is as reliable as ever but the show belongs to Lynch, who wrings every drop of dramatic juice from her small role.
There's enough energy to hold the attention but this adds nothing new to a familiar story and the silly and unlikely heist at the end helps not a jot.