There are some good jabs taken at AA, whose meetings Sherry is ordered to attend by court. The film portrays them as laughably worthless (as many ex-members vouch for). Yet, for every good moment, there is a really bad moment, such as the scene where the new owner of the house Owen and Dan used to live in invites Sherry in, when she returns more soberly. Sherry seems to steel herself. Aside from the fact that the scene is trite (how many times has someone ‘gone home’ again?) what real person would let a lunatic stranger who has previously only drunkenly raved on their property into their home, especially with three young children there?
Aside from the brilliant Stoltz, Dickens does very well as Sherry, making the viewer understand, if not like, her unsympathetic character, despite the trite material. Mann gives a solid performance as Owen, but his character is so obnoxiously unmanly that it’s sometimes difficult to tell what was acting and what was merely limp performance. Cheadle does his usual PC scenery chewing, especially in his final scene with Mann, where he punches a refrigerator and abuses a box of cereal, in a classic moment of bad acting that is thought of as good because it is so hammy that only a brain dead judge at an arts panel could think it was good acting.
The alternative 1960s-era rock score by Sonic Youth is very good, even if the songs supposedly penned by Sherry are banal in lyric and music (in reality they were penned by Tiffany Anders, daughter of the director). This sort of mediocrity makes the idea that Sherry is some sort of budding indie music star that a magazine would want to profile a bit of a stretch, rape song or not. Aside from the cameos by Stoltz and Arquette, there are also cameos by such minor ‘name’ actors as Elizabeth Pena, CCH Pounder, and Patsy Kensit, as another troubled, white, blond ex-flame of Chuck’s, indicating he is also some sort of arrested sexual fetishist with issues that remain unresolved.
On the DVD, the film is shown in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, and features a rather pointless commentary track from Anders, co-writer Voss, and producer Dan Hassid. The only interesting thing gleaned is the fact that the scene where Stoltz spits at Mann’s character was an improvisation by Stoltz, and Anders had no clue about it. Even on the track she is unclear as to its power. You know a director is in trouble when the best bit in their film is something they had no part in, and do not understand.