Film Review – Loves Her Gun
Loves Her Gun
“A young woman deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after surviving a violent mugging.” If you were to be glib and create a Twitter sized plot summary, this could easily describe the independent film Loves Her Gun.
Trieste Kelly Dunn plays Allie. As the movie begins, she is walking home alone from a club in Brooklyn after a show by a clever band that performs in Martial Arts outfits with fake arms raised in the air. Her self-centered boyfriend leaves her to catch another hot show in another part of town. So while alone, she quickly gets knocked down and assaulted by a couple of animal mask wearing muggers who beat her quite badly. She reports it to the police, but feels no relief or justice from the encounter. So on a whim, she hitches a ride with the band she saw that night as they return to their home in Austin, Texas. Her reasoning is, a new change of scene with new friends and neighbors will make her feel safe.
Alas, her uneasiness has followed her to Austin. She can’t sleep well, she jumps at the slightest noises, and she has trouble opening up to Clark, the leader of the band. He obviously likes her romantically, but she has no interest in a relationship. Meanwhile, she is increasingly influenced by Sarah (Melissa Hideko Bisagni). Giving her a job as a landscaper, Sarah also gets Allie interested in guns. The feel of catharsis while target shooting is meant to exorcise some of her demons and provide a sense of security. However, joining the gun culture in Texas doesn’t necessarily help her emotional state.
While handsomely shot and reasonably well acted, this small independent drama doesn’t add up to much. It feels like a long walk to get to a close destination. The morals it’s espousing are pretty obvious: guns don’t make people safer, PTSD needs therapy, getting attacked is tough to deal with. The tragedy that this movie is building towards can be seen from a mile away. And the mumblecore improvised dialogue isn’t particularly deep or meaningful. We watch a bunch of twenty-somethings hanging out at a party or going inner tubing. There isn’t much below the surface here.
Dunn as the main character is quite good. You genuinely believe her increasing paranoia and unrest. She also bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Alan De La Garza (an oddly specific comparison, I know, but if you’ve seen as much Law and Order as I have you wouldn’t get it out of your head either). Director Geoff Marslett has created a good looking movie for what is presumably a low budget. The camera creates a fine sense of place. If only the script had more substance, there might be more to appreciate here. This movie was featured at SXSW and you can picture this as being a typical indie film that fills up the roster of festivals. Eventually it will scroll by you in your Netflix cue and you might try it on a lazy afternoon on the couch.
Loves Her Gun is well intentioned by creating a believable scenario that shows how a young woman could become attracted to gun ownership. But the movie feels obvious and slow.
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