Expired DVD Review
How likely is it that love, not to mention hot sex, can blossom between two people who've picked identical careers dedicated to punishing the rest of us? Writer/director Cecilia Miniucchi ponders all sort of related potentials - and impossibilities - in her delightfully dysfunctional offbeat romantic comedy, Expired.
A road movie in a highly unusual sense of that notion, Expired tosses together two of the most eccentric personality's imaginable - fellow LA parking enforcement officers. There's meek, mousy meter maid Claire (Samantha Morton) and mean-spirited macho porn junkie, Jay (Jason Patric).
Claire is a woman consumed with self-loathing, and wracked with guilt and a litany of motorist apologies, for every parking ticket she dispenses. On the other hand, Jay gleefully and often maliciously writes out every parking ticket he can, bullying the recipients as if engaging in some sort of manhood ritual.
And while Claire has resigned herself to a life of loneliness caring at home for her invalid paralyzed mom (Terri Garr), Jay spends his down time back at his pad with a string of dial-up phone sex dates who obey his every sleazy command in companion downloadable online orgies.
When Jay pressures Claire into a sexually demeaning and egotistical, abusive relationship, the glum meter maid obediently defers to his weirdly disparaging overtures. Simply because, as she tells her barely aware mom, 'What do you think is better, something or nothing when you can't have everything.'
When her mother suddenly passes away, drowning in a bowl of freshly prepared mashed potatoes at the kitchen table, Claire moves on in her life from initial denial and discouragement to anger, self-respect and emotional independence. The dramatic journey we take with Claire is enormously tender, hilarious and bittersweet, and laced with difficult wisdom. First time filmmaker Cecilia Miniucchi, who apprenticed under Lina Wertmuller, the Taviani Brothers, and at Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios, is a remarkably gifted, dramatically sensitive talent, and clearly with an exceptionally promising future.
DVD Features: Original Cinemascope Presentation; Making of Featurette; Deleted Scenes; Theatrical Trailers.
Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.
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