Breaking News in Yuba County

Holy huge cast, Batman! I mean there have been other films with bigger casts, but this one is filled with well-known actors/actresses. In director Tate Taylor’s (The Help, The Girl on the Train) latest film you get Mila Kunis, Matthew Modine, Awkwafina, Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, Wanda Sykes, Jimmi Simpson, Clifton Collins Jr, Regina Hall, Bridget Everett, Samira Wiley, and Ellen Barkin. All that talent together adds up to less than I would have hoped for, but filled with moments that make it a decent watch.

First off, it is not your typical film. Filled with quirks and odd characters, it is an off center story told with a total independant film feel and look to it. With the acting talent, a director with a solid reputation and a fun story involved you would think there would be enough pizzazz it would ward off any boredom. Yet that does creep in more than it should.

Some people just fade into the background in life. Sue Buttons (Allison Janney – Juno, The Hours) is one of those people. She has made no impression upon her co-workers, the lady in the bakery at the grocery store and even her husband of 20 years, Karl (Matthew Modine – Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises).

Finally, after taking much abuse from people and listening to affirmations constantly, she has decided that enough is enough. It is her birthday. No one remembers. Sue even has to buy her own birthday cake. But this year, she has decided, is going to be different. Sue has made dinner reservations at the new French restaurant in town and is going to tell Karl he is not working late tonight, that they are going out to dinner for her birthday.

To her surprise when she sees Karl with a bouquet of flowers, they are not for her. She follows her husband to a dingy motel where he is meeting his mistress, Leah (Bridget Everett – Patti Cakes, Trainwreck). The shock of having his wife walk in on him having sex with his mistress brings about a heart attack and Karl’s death.

Instead of calling the police/ambulance, Sue sees this as an opportunity for the attention she so craves. She hides the body and reports Karl missing. Still Sue finds she is largely being ignored, so she ups the lie even more. Now she is enjoying her stint as a quasi celebrity in Yuba County, but her lies are going to get her caught up in the mess her husband was involved in with not nice people.

A large part of the issue is how the director portrays his lead character and as a result how little pity you feel for Sue. Another middle aged white woman who is not happy with what she has in life. Sound familiar? Sound like someone you will feel sorry for? Nah, didn’t think so. As a result no matter the unique story or fun characters everything else in the film has less of a shine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*