SXSW 2018 Review: UNLOVABLE

By Jan Hamilton 

Joy is a lovely Asian-American girl who works with her nice boyfriend on a kids TV show.  Her problem is that she is a sex-addict, often getting drunk and having sex she doesn’t even remember the next day.  After much patience, her boyfriend throws her out, and she loses her job because she is so unfocused.  Her parents are sick of her, and as a last resort she goes to a 12 step program where she meets Maddie (Melissa Leo).

Maddie is talked into being her sponsor, and even lets Joy stay in the guest house of her large estate.  Joy is advised to stay away from the main house, where Maddie’s brother Jim (John Hawkes) stays and takes care of their Nana (Ellen Geer).  Maddie isn’t around much at all.  Jim is a singer but very stand-offish and makes no effort to respond to Joy’s attempts at friendship. He has completely withdrawn from life, though at one time he had a pretty good career.

It takes a long time for a relationship to grow, it is never sexual, she plays drums to his singing and guitar. She had played drums as a child and finds that it is something she is good at. They are both able to   gain insight into the reasons they have made messes of their lives.

This is a warm, sometimes humorous film that will stay with you.  John Hawkes, who is always wonderful, is great here. Charlene deGuzman, who has appeared in a lot of musical projects, including a stint on Hannah Montana, is charming and funny.

Credits:

Director:  Suzi Yoonessi

Executive Producer:  Mark Duplass

& Jay Duplass

Producer:  Jen Roskind

Screenwriter: Charlene deGuzman,

Sarah Adina Smith, Mark Duplass

Cinematographer: Moira Morel

Editor: Kristina Davies

Production Designer: Nino Alicia

Sound Designer: Jamie Selway

Music: John Hawkes

Principal Cast: Charlene deGuzman,

John Hawkes, Melissa Leo, Paul James,

Ellen Geer

Additional Credits: 

Associate Producer: Patton Oswalt,

Co-Producer: Louise Shore,

Costume Designer: Francesca Roth,

Music Supervisor: Dan Wilcox,

Composer: Christopher French,

Executive Producers: Sarah Smick

& Ian Michaels,

Art Director : Cassie Miggins,

Makeup Artist: Ana Gabriela Quinonez,

1st AD: Stephanie Janesh

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