True Stories

  • 1986
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Comedy

David Byrne, then the front man for the Talking Heads, makes his feature film directorial debut with a deliciously offbeat and affectionate look at American madness. Byrne himself plays the narrator, a friendly outsider every bit as strange as the oddball characters he observes. Wearing a large cowboy hat, he talks to the camera as he drives along in a...read more

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David Byrne, then the front man for the Talking Heads, makes his feature film directorial debut with a deliciously offbeat and affectionate look at American madness. Byrne himself plays the narrator, a friendly outsider every bit as strange as the oddball characters he observes. Wearing

a large cowboy hat, he talks to the camera as he drives along in a big red convertible. Virtually plotless, the film follows Byrne as he takes us on a tour of Virgil, Texas, and its inhabitants. We meet the "Laziest Woman in the World" (Swoozie Kurtz); the "Lying Woman" (Jo Harvey Allen), who

spices up her mundane workday with incredible stories; a civic leader (Spalding Gray) and his wife (Annie McEnroe), who haven't spoken directly to each other in 15 years; a paranoid preacher (John Ingle) who sees conspiracy around every corner; and the man who comes closest to being the film's

main character, Louis Fyne (John Goodman), a lovable panda-bear of a man who is looking for matrimony with a capital "M." Supposedly inspired by bizarre clippings found in the slezoid tabloids that adorn grocery checkout line, TRUE STORIES attempts to provide a fond, kindly glimpse of the

heartland of America. Some were offended by what they perceived to be the film's smug hipness and sense of superiority. We could not disagree more. It's a lovely loving film that also has some terrific Talking Heads tunes. The actors all do amazingly well with their rather sketchy

characterizations. All in all, this is a commendable first effort from neophyte director Byrne. We hope to hear--and see--more from him.

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  • Released: 1986
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: David Byrne, then the front man for the Talking Heads, makes his feature film directorial debut with a deliciously offbeat and affectionate look at American madness. Byrne himself plays the narrator, a friendly outsider every bit as strange as the oddball… (more)

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