Review: Loitering With Intent
By the time Sam Rockwell shows up in Loitering with Intent, if you’re not vicariously stressed out like our lead writer, then you will be. He is one of the many characters – indeed, characters in every sense of the word – that finds a way to a country home where two best friends and colleagues have holed up to write a screenplay set to make their careers.
Dominic (Michael Godere) is the more hopeful, maybe of the pair, as his bartending friend Raphael (Ivan Martin), at 40, maybe has given up one being a Hollywood success story. Nevertheless, a chance meeting has them with 10 days to make their detective story into a script with a shot at a movie, and stealing away for physical, mental, and emotional space is sure to help.
This comedic tale tends more towards the farcical than the sincere as a trove of friends and strangers set upon this retreat by accident or fate. Physical proximity may be the only things these caricatures share, because everyone is in their own absurd world with a warped, monomaniacal vision of what exists around them. There’s a surfer, a coquette, a feuding couple, and crises all around, and everyone has feels a singular change will better their life – and everyone is jealous of the next. At least the men are.
This screenplay begins to take a backseat though, as alcohol mixes with feelings and inhibitions run wild amid fear of the unpredictable future and uncertain present. The developments are neither surprising nor novel, but genuine nonetheless, worth investing in due to the likeable characters; even if they are more thinly drawn than layered.
Rockwell stands out, as he always does, playing this role of loveable gnat, of indefatigable man-child (see Laggies, The Way, Way Back). Marissa Tomei is Gigi, another wayward soul teetering on the line between endless bliss and losing complete control: she and Rockwell’s character make a fun couple worth of a spinoff.
The title of fare directed by Adam Rapp and written by our two male leads is fitting, almost in a negative way however. That is, nothing much happens save for fleeting outpouring of emotions and romances, and drunken, defenseless conversations that may or may not touch on something meaningful. Charming, entertaining, and fairly empty, the ‘loitering’ is there for sure, but it’s lacking in ‘intent.