Money. Money. Money. That is what the world is about. It leaks into almost every decision we make. What job we take. What we study at school. Who we marry. The neighbourhood we live in. Clothes we wear. All encompassing in this capitalistic and consumerism driven world.
Makes sense that the film world would step up to the plate and take some swings at it. In a satire kind of way. That is where Tanya Wexler’s (Hysteria, Ball in the House) film slots itself in. It is an high octane, always entertaining little film. I say little only because it is obviously not a big budget affair.
The lead character here, Peg, is rather a complicated woman. Her family live in Buffalo and suffer a blow when her father, a man who liked to eat bad for you kind of food, dies young. This leaves the family without much money. Which marks young Peg. Her mom, Kathy (Judy Greer – 13 Going on 30, Ant-Man), has a hair salon operating out of the kitchen and deals, on a daily basis, with calls from bill collectors.
From a young age, Peg decides her goal in life is to make money. A lot of it. Her plan is to go to an Ivy League school and then work at a Fortune 500 company or on Wall Street. That plan goes awry when Peg (Zoey Deutch – Zombieland: Double Tap, The Disaster Artist) is arrested due to selling counterfeit Bills’ tickets. After 40 months in prison, she is no longer sought after by good schools or any schools, and has a hard time even getting a job.
Plus she now has bill collectors after her as she has amassed lawyer bills and other costs related to her arrest. While on the phone with a rather clueless guy working for one bill collector, she realizes that there is money to be made here and she would be good at it with her gift for the gab.
After learning her boss (Jai Courtney – A Good Day to Die Hard, Suicide Squad) is a douche and, an even bigger evil for her, taking money from her; Peg strikes out on her own.
This is all about Peg. Meaning the success or failure of Buffaloed rests on that character. Though she is rather sleazy, we like her. Peg is charming or successfully rendered so by a highly likable Deutch. Pefect fit of actress with character. Deutch seems to understand what it takes to make the perfect antihero.
Reality meets comedy here. They get both right. Comedy is of the screwball variety and the reality portion stings a little because it is…well, real. Part of the bravos go to director Wexler as she understands the pacing needed for both and the other part to screenwriter Brian Sacca (written for live productions like Emmy Awards and MTV Movie Awards).