Crude in Many Ways

Jennifer Esposito and Michael Clarke Duncan in American Crude (2008)

Johnny (Ron Livingston) is a lawyer who is married to Jane (Cynthia Watros) except they have a problem, she wants kids and he doesn't. Their friends are Bill (Rob Schneider) and Olivia (Amanda Detmer) who despite their frequent rows are getting married and have their stag and hen parties to go to which is when things start to unfold. But then there is Spinks (Michael Clarke Duncan) and his girlfriend Carlos (Jennifer Esposito) who are planning to take revenge on a man who once attacked her. That man wasn't Mr. Grand (Raymond J. Barry) whose wife took a tumble down the stairs on the day she filed for divorce and now is stuck in a wheelchair. When he isn't looking after her he is either watching porn online or making amateur porn in the apartment. And then there is country girl Tammy (Sarah Foret) who is running away from home and isn't too bright. Plus there is Gigi (Missi Pyle) a prostitute short on cash. Some how all these characters will interweave on one night.

That synopsis pretty much covers the first incredibly poor opening 10 minutes when we get a narration from Johnny which takes us through a who's who of characters, names, jobs and so on which screamed to me two things. Man there are a lot of characters in this movie and maybe the budget has been spent on paying actor's salaries giving director Craig Sheffer nothing left over to spend on actually developing the characters. This was then confirmed by so much of the movie relying on dialogue to tell the audience things rather than having stuff actually acted out on screen.

The thing is that for a movie where all the characters interconnect there are just far too many and it becomes a mess especially as every single scene doesn't have a flow to it as it doesn't have the time to build up to it. But in truth that doesn't matter as all this movie does is build up to a series of scenes of people being crude talking about fake breasts and having sex with sheep and none of it is interesting or entertaining. This movie basically crashes from one scene to another with the storyline surrounding each character never working to make you wonder how they might interlink or to be honest care.

What this all boils down to is that "American Crude" might on paper as an idea worked but as a movie it is just a mess and is incredibly crude in many senses of the word. It wasn't for me and whilst I stuck with it to the end I was watching the clock soon after the movie started as there were already ominous signs due to the narration and number of characters.

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