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Heist movies are always one of two things: a dramatic, action-packed thriller filled with betrayals and gunfights or a slapstick comedy with well, betrayals and sometimes, gunfights. From money to jewels and everything in-between, the genre is full of entertaining movies one boths side of the coin. Now comes Imperfections, a small budget, light-hearted comedy/drama with a few clever twists of its own, and while it might not always work, is terrific Indie gem.
Cassidy (Virginia Kull) is a classic struggling actress, panicking before auditions and never quite finding what the casting directors are looking for. Cash strapped, she moves in with her doting mother (Marilu Henner), who has just got herself a new boyfriend. He’s Barry (Ed Begley Jr.), a high end diamond dealer who offers Cassidy a job. All she has to do is discreetly carry diamonds from his shop to sellers, a common practice that employs attractive young women to work as runners, looking far less conspicuous that an armoured car. Barry’s son Alex (Ashton Holmes) though, has some schemes of his own and brings Cassidy into the fold, planning a heist of their own diamonds. She wants in and tries to lure her on again off again boyfriend Ray (Zach McGowan) to do the deed. Then things get complicated.
Written and directed by David Singer, in his feature length debut, Imperfections plays into the tropes of the genre as expected but the film is more interested in the relationships than the actual ‘job’, with plenty of double-crosses and what-nots that keep us guessing, though nothing that’s not to hard to see coming. Dialogue-driven, it has a stage-play feel to it all with a mix of noir-ish thrills, starting as one thing and ending as another. Singer keeps the pace deliberate, layering the intrigue though always in a sort of playful manner, despite one moment of jarring violence and a late character (Chelcie Ross) who arrives packing some unexpected menace.
Cassidy is an interesting character, who carries the film, a bright and charming girl who is stuck in the ruts, though we don’t truly get to know why she is as she is, even as Kull does good work in bringing it together. She hyperventilates before auditions and yet is very independent, balancing her mother and Ray as best she can. These moments, when she must pretend to be someone else versus trying to be herself are some of the best in the film. McGowen is also good fun as a man who sees the light as it were and works to make some changes.
Singer uses diamonds as a kind of metaphor throughout and while the plot never gets too tricky, the value of a gem and the worthiness of relationships is always at play. No one seems clean of a little betrayal, though some are better at earning trust back and Imperfections works best when it puts its efforts in mining some depth out these few connections.
While it’s sometimes tonally off balance, the script is strong as are the performances, with veterans Begley Jr. and Henner doing terrific work. A low key score and a padded length ultimately weaken a bit of the impact, but the payoff is well-earned. Imperfections has its flaws but still shines enough to make this well worth a look, especially for a great second half.
Movie description: Imperfections is a 2017 crime comedy about a struggling actress worrying that any chance at stardom may have already passed her by, who takes a job as runner.
Director(s): David Singer
Actor(s): Zach McGowan, Virginia Kull, Marilu Henner
Genre: Crime, Comedy