By Don Simpson | January 15, 2015
Director: Adam Rapp
Writers: Michael Godere, Ivan Martin
Starring: Ivan Martin, Michael Godere, Marisa Tomei, Sam Rockwell, Brian Geraghty, Natasha Lyonne
Dominic (Michael Godere) and Raphael (Ivan Martin) are best friends who have been struggling to get by as actors for way too long. They are stereotypical struggling actors to the nth degree, but there is something to be said for Dominic and Raphael’s desire to “make it”; yet that desire seems to be offset by a self-depricating notion that they will always be failures. Time seems to be taking a toll on the two New Yorkers, and maybe that aforementioned desire could be better described as desperation.
When they find themselves in front of an aspiring producer who has easy access to money, Dominic and Raphael pitch their “raw” film noir script. The problem is, no such script exists. Nonetheless, they promise to complete the final draft in the next ten days. So, Dominic and Raphael immediately head to upstate New York to sequester themselves in a quiet country house owned by Dominic’s sister Gigi (Marisa Tomei).
Adam Rapp’s Loitering with Intent is as much about the writing process as it is about escaping from responsibilities. First, Dominic and Raphael turn to alcohol to distract themselves from the task at hand; then, as other characters appear at the house, it becomes increasingly evident that Dominic and Raphael will probably never finish their script. First they are both transfixed by the gorgeously free-spirited Ava (Isabelle McNally) who suddenly appears in the backyard; then Gigi shows up, bringing a ton of relationship baggage along with her, including her estranged boyfriend, Wayne (Sam Rockwell), and his brother, Devon (Brian Geraghty). Since it is Gigi’s house, Dominic and Raphael cannot kick any of the titular loiterers out.
Taking place mostly at Gigi’s country house, Loitering with Intent uses the “ensemble stuck in a house” genre to create a pressure cooker of drama. We know enough about the characters’ intertwining backstories to anticipate a lot of emotions. Ivan Martin, Marisa Tomei, Sam Rockwell and Brian Geraghty are tasked with being the freewheeling comedic relief to Michael Godere’s “straight man”; all the while, Isabelle McNally drifts peacefully around the house like a spirit, with the sole purpose of instilling a sense of serenity within the chaos. The naturalistic, self-referential performances of Godere and Martin — who also co-wrote the screenplay — hearken back to the American independent cinema of the early 1990s. Though their dialogue sometimes seems a bit too verbose to have not been heavily scripted, their chemistry solicits a conversational report that helps solidify their friendship.