Just Add Water – This obvious piece of festival bait started out with a bit of promise, but by the time the final fifteen minutes rolled around, things had completely fallen apart. The main characters were decent, and except for a completely flat and one-sided Danny DeVito, somewhat likable. This movie tried to recreate the feel of movies like Waitress, an abominable piece of garbage in its own right. The problem with this sort of movie is that it reduces everything and everyone to a single dimension: the good guys are good, the bad guys are bad. Nothing unexpected happens and no one shows the least bit of intelligence. These stories show simple people with simple dreams, but they just end up seeming condescending.
I’m actually really tired of the term off-beat being used to justify comedies that aren’t funny. But that’s a whole other post.
The movie is all about a guy named Ray (Dylan Walsh) who lives in the desolate and, incidentally, real town of Trona, California. He is a parking garage attendant who spends his nights talking to his white trash neighbors and dealing with his reclusive and unloving wife. The town is run by the local meth-dealer who happens to be about 17 years-old and acts like a dictator. Ray is completely meek and unassuming, taking abuse from just about everyone in his life. His only joy is the daily trip to the local grocery store where his beautiful and single high school sweetheart Nora (Tracy Middendorf) works. If you can’t figure out what is going to happen based on that information, I pity you.
Like I said though, the first three quarters of the movie were not bad, even decently good. Then suddenly the writers forgot that this wasn’t a movie for eight-year-olds. I’m not against predictability; sometimes there’s just a place for it. Other times, here, for instance, it just seems lazy and hackneyed.
In short: don’t bother with this one.