"Imperfections" Review- A new indie film with a twisted plot

The indie film “Imperfections”, directed by first-timer David Singer, was released by Level 33 Entertainment on July 28, 2017, in Chicago and other major cities. Co-written and co-produced by David and Jonathan Singer, filmed in Chicago, it’s a 109 minute plot-twister that’s billed as a comedy/mystery, but really isn’t very humorous, nor is there a great deal of suspense. It is, however, lighthearted and convoluted in plot, with characters that are strangely intriguing if not exactly likable.

Virginia Kull as struggling actress Cassidy in "Imperfections"

 The film stars Virginia Kull as Marilu Henner’s daughter, a struggling actress with panic attacks, Ed Begley, Jr. in a great understated performance as Ashton Holmes’ father- they’re diamond merchants- and Zach McGowan as Kull’s on-again-off-again drug dealing tattooed boyfriend.

The premise makes a twisted kind of sense. A hapless, perennially out-of-work young aspiring actress is hired by a jeweler, (who is also her mother’s new boyfriend), to be an insured courier of diamonds. The jeweler’s smarmy, nerdy son works for his dad and owes money to a sinister concealed figure, “Lil Pop”, delightfully portrayed by Chelcie Ross. The son is already cheating his father with Lil Pop’s’ head thug, played with panache by Jerry MacKinnon and ultimately conspires with the penniless new courier to perpetrate a fraud, a fake swindle.

Ed Begley, Jr., as jeweler Barry in "Imperfections"

She is to lure her former boyfriend- a bumbling, weirdly charming, Irish accented dreamer- who can't manage to wash his waist length hair-into the heist. Things, of course, become twisted and weird. Who is attracted to whom and why? Who is acting on behalf of whom? Who, if anyone, is sincere? How do these miscreants and minimum wage workers afford their high-rise condo/sprawling loft? Why doesn’t someone with panic attacks get into treatment or give up acting? Why would Kull encourage her mother to get it together with a guy as lame as the jeweler?

Marilu Henner and Virginia Kull as mother and daughter, Val and Cassidy, in "Imperfections"

There are no real answers provided to these questions. The main actors aren’t strong enough to carry their roles as written, while the secondary parts have the strongest, well-seasoned actors. Having said this, there’s a lot of the film that works. It was fun to point out the authentic Chicago spots in and around Jeweler’s row; the tone of the scriptwriting is human and genuine; the music, scored by David Singer,  is funky, and after a lull in the action, a certain scene will seem to take off and hit it right.

Ashton Holmes and Jerry Mackinnon as Alex and Anthony in "Imperfections"

While there is too much dialogue, much of it musings about the vagaries of fate, and not enough action, the best part of this film is the depiction of the relationships between the characters. Watching Kull chatting with her mom “the morning after”, you can almost reach out and touch the affection between them. Kull and McGowan’s rekindled romance also seemed real, as does his affection for her. As for character development, McGowan is fascinating from the beginning, and Kull certainly grows into her role, providing a very strong turn-around with MacKinnon, in the most versatile and enjoyable scene- the denouement. If the actual end is inexplicable, at least it’s not smug. The movie is imperfect, but it will keep you talking about it. 

Virginia Kull and Zach McGowan, as love interests in "Imperfections"

 

Photos courtesy of Level 33 Entertainment 2017

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