Trailer: Samantha Morton and Jason Patric in 'Expired'

I had Expired circled last year as a lighthearted must-see on my guide for the local film festival. The packaging of the indie appeared to suggest an offbeat romantic comedy where Samantha Morton (who as of late has turned in admirable performances in both Mister Lonely and Control) and Jason Patric would conquer urban dissociation and land in each other’s arms, though it turns out that Expired is a nearly joyless exercise. As Claire, a mousey Santa Monica metermaid, there’s more than a passing resemblance to Morton’s turn as loyal-to-a-fault love interest in Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown (1999). Patric, as traffic officer Jay, is also an overbearing, grade-A asshole, in parallel to Sean Penn’s role as Lowdown‘s Django Reinhardt.

Director Cecilia Miniucchi has described Expired as a “romantic horror” film, though not because performer or viewer is physically harmed or scared shitless – they’re just sapped dry from the inexcusable verbal abuse that Morton chooses to endure. Morton’s character is too forgiving and Patric’s too caustic, past a reasonable suspension of disbelief. You see Jay’s demons, but probably won’t empathize. The film aspires to flip a predictable genre on its head, but in doing so it sacrifices a discernable heartbeat.

The film has set on the shelf for a while – a holdover from Sundance 2007. Some tweaks or revisions may have been made since then, but best to set your expectations appropriately: do not walk in looking for the bookend companion to Southern California romances Punch Drunk Love or Me and You and Everyone We Know. What I saw of Expired was miserable. Not even the good miserable.

Scheduled release: June 20th, 2008. More: 5 clips

Posted by Ted Zee on June 11th 2008 | Home Page | 4 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

4 Responses

  1. Nick Plowman Says:

    That’s a shame.

  2. dave Says:

    Ted, you are gay and have no vision

  3. von Says:

    liked it, he was amazing
    you have to see the entire movie and pay attention to get it

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