(Air Date: Week Of 2/22/95)
After last year's "Natural Born Killers" exploited the illusion that violence is sexy, follow-up clones were inevitable. Case in point: "Love And A .45", directed by C. M. Talkington. Or maybe no one directed this thing. Maybe C. M. just pointed cameras at the actors and told them to ham it up. And they do: Every single one of them, without exception, overacts his or her little heart out.
The leader of the pack in this department is Rory Cochrane, so good as the stoned Slater in "Dazed And Confused" when he was directed by Richard Linklater. As Billy the psycho here, he never shouts when he can scream and never screams when he can blow someone's head off. I guess we're supposed to root for the idiotic runaway lovers Watty and Starlene Watts who are played by Gil Bellows and Renee Zellweger. After all, they never would have gotten into trouble if it weren't for Billy, it's all his fault. But Watty and Starlene are, for all their wildly overplayed mugging on camera, a deeply boring couple.
Her parents are two over-the-hill hippies played by Ann Wedgworth and Peter Fonda. Starlene's dad tore his throat out while under the influence of something or other in the sixties, so he has to communicate with a voice box. The cameo is humiliating enough for "Easy Rider's" Fonda, but it's downright painful to see an excellent, if underrated, character actress like Wedgworth in such a throwaway role. Well, you can always listen to Jesus and Mary Chain, meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers, Kim Deal and Johnny Cash on the soundtrack and wonder why the onscreen zeroes get to be media stars and how many more movie clones will ask the same damn thing over & over again.
Copyright 1995 Monica Sullivan
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