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  • Audrey the Trainwreck | Review

    SXSW FILM 2010

    By | March 28, 2010

    Director: Frank V Ross

    Writer: Frank V Ross

    Starring: Anthony Baker, Alexi Wasser, Danny Rhodes, Rebecca Spence, Joe Swanberg, Jess Weixler, Nick Offerman

    Ron (Anthony J. Baker) is an ATM parts purchaser who has a knack for letting the tag stick out of his shirt collar and a strong affinity for the simplicity of George Forman grills. He does not appear to have any real beef with his job – Ron seems to have all but given up on any loftier career aspirations. His remaining goal in life seems to be retirement, which is years away. Outside of work – especially after being struck in the back by a friend’s wayward dart – Ron grows increasingly irritable, verbally taking out his anger on friends and acquaintances alike. His overprotective room mate, Scott (Danny Rhodes), seems to suffer the brunt of Ron’s worst rampages.

    Ron’s love life is comprised of a tiring routine of internet dating. Meeting various women at an unassuming café, Ron and his dates stumble through the same painful formalities over and over again (in one scene his date is visually juxtaposed with a real estate agent meeting their client). Eventually, Ron meets Stacy (Alexi Wasser), an express mail courier – she wears a brown uniform (ala UPS) but sports a fictitious logo. Ron discovers an odd kinship with Stacy, as they share a similar anxiety that the time may have passed for their lives to be more than just getting by. They both proceed with caution, but Ron and Stacy eventually – albeit awkwardly – fall for one another.

    Despite his budding relationship with Stacy, Ron never really escapes his funk. It is not until Scott finally confronts him that Ron even considers making any radical changes in his life.

    Shot in on location in Chicago, Frank V. Ross’ Audrey the Trainwreck is a stunningly realistic portrait of today’s late 20-something white urban working class. The characters do not have it easy – they commit themselves, for better or worse, to whatever job they can get in order to make ends meet. Audrey the Trainwreck is a story about people caught in highly repetitive and boring routines – working meaningless jobs (that they hate) during the day, hanging around the same boring old friends every night – encapsulating the monotonous lifestyle that people can easily fall into. Or maybe it’s really just about the innate desire to keep life simple? Besides, how many people are really happy in their jobs?

    And who is the titular Audrey and what is the train wreck?

    Jess Wexler (Teeth) plays a small role as Tammy. It is also worth noting that Joe Swanberg’s performance as Jeremy (one of Ron’s coworkers) is the prolific SXSW fixture’s (since 2005) only contribution to SXSW 2010. Joe, where have all the good times gone?

    Rating: 7/10

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