Pizza

Seven years after writer-director Mark Christopher's big break, 54, fizzled, he returned with this whimsically melancholy, ultralow-budget, shot-on-digital-video tale of a lonely high-school girl and her night of wonders, courtesy of a 30-year-old slacker. Brainy, obese, socially awkward Cara-Ethyl (Kylie Sparks) — who owes her oddball double name to her...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Seven years after writer-director Mark Christopher's big break, 54, fizzled, he returned with this whimsically melancholy, ultralow-budget, shot-on-digital-video tale of a lonely high-school girl and her night of wonders, courtesy of a 30-year-old slacker. Brainy, obese, socially awkward Cara-Ethyl (Kylie Sparks) — who owes her oddball double name to her squabbling parents' inability to decide whether to name her after actress Irene Cara or I Love Lucy character Ethyl Mertz — will be 18 in a matter of hours, and if the party her sweet-but-clueless mom, Darlene (Julie Hagerty), has thrown is any indication, Cara-Ethyl's new adult life will be no improvement over the childhood she's leaving behind. Not one person came, though Cara-Ethyl takes advantage of her mother's temporary blindness to pretend teen princess and one-time friend Emily (Alexis Dziena) is there, a charade Darlene apparently buys without question. Things look up, though, when the pizza Darlene ordered arrives, delivered by aging underachiever Matt (Ethan Embry). Handsome and feckless though Matt is, he's got a decent streak a mile wide and he allows Cara-Ethyl to accompany him on rounds in his customized delivery truck. To sheltered, lonely Cara-Ethyl, whose spiky mix of naivete and precocity have branded her the school weirdo, 30-year-old Matt is cool personified, but her whirlwind tour of his slacker life is an eye-opener. And Cara-Ethyl's incessant questions force Matt to reconsider his lifelong habit of always signing up — for protest marches, parties, relationships, jobs — and never showing up. Embry and first-time actress Sparks have charming chemistry, but Christopher's slight screenplay wears out its welcome long before the film — which runs a scant 80 minutes — is over.

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  • Released: 2006
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Seven years after writer-director Mark Christopher's big break, 54, fizzled, he returned with this whimsically melancholy, ultralow-budget, shot-on-digital-video tale of a lonely high-school girl and her night of wonders, courtesy of a 30-year-old slacker.… (more)

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