Writer-director Jonathan Friedman ruins a promising premise through poor timing and inept direction of his cast.
Aspiring novelist Ron Fervent (L. Derek Leonidoff) returns from a publisher’s conference to discovers that his house has been stolen! Only his toothbrush remains in the empty lot where his home once stood. Ron’s investigation yields one piece of evidence, a PO box address in Atlantic City. Ron's dutiful friend, tabloid writer John Thomas (Terry Jernigan), joins him on his inter-state odyssey. At a weigh station, they learn that a truck transporting Ron’s house passed through and that the drivers have begun selling Ron’s worldly goods. John has a seriously paranoid world view, and while Ron initially scoffs at his conspiracy theories he eventually comes around: While scouring every flea market in their path, they keep running into a bearded man who dispenses cryptic clues about Ron’s crusade before skulking off. When Ron learns that he's not alone, he bands together with theft victims from other states and discovers that the crafty house-napper not only steals people's place of residence but also intercepts payments from the homeowners’ insurance companies. Representing the dispossessed brethren, Ron and John arrive in Atlantic City, open the post office box and find a check made out to Leonardo Di Caprio (Justin Mykael), the gangster cousin of the movie star! Although the homeless advocates are no match for Di Caprio’s casino crew, Ron shows the underage mobster the upside of cooperation. After all, the house thief could be a Mafia player -- if they were to apprehend the mastermind behind the "dwelling appropriations," Ron and his fellow sufferers would get restitution, and Leo would solidify his position as the sole head of la famiglia.
Instead of capitalizing on the repercussions of this unique crimewave, Virginia-based director and his co-screenwriter, brother Matthew Friedman, opt for obvious jabs about made men and trailer trash. What could have been an anti-establishment black comedy about a new kind of survivalist becomes an upbeat caper film about finding your inner homeowner.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: NR
- Review: Writer-director Jonathan Friedman ruins a promising premise through poor timing and inept direction of his cast. Aspiring novelist Ron Fervent (L. Derek Leonidoff) returns from a publisher’s conference to discovers that his house has been stolen! Only h… (more)