Tuesday, July 04, 2006


11:14 movieRachael Leigh Cook Director by Greg Marcks
Reviewed by Byron Merritt



In the vein of LOVE ACTUALLY, 11:14 gives us a set of intersecting storylines but in a very black comedy way. And while I enjoyed Love Actually very much, 11:14 I enjoyed only marginally. Don’t get me wrong, it is entertaining. But a few times during the viewing I said, "No way would it happen like that."

11:14 focuses on several lives that are forever changed at exactly the same moment, and how each overlaps the other in strange and often chuckling ways. The film starts out with Jack (Henry Thomas, E.T.) driving down the road, half-drunk, when he runs over someone in his car. Terrified that he’ll go to jail, he quickly tucks the body into the back of his car’s trunk. Norma (Barbara Hershey, HANNAH AND HER SISTERS) approaches the accident in her own car, sees Jack, and quickly surmises that he’s hit a deer ("Happens all the time right around here"). She helpfully calls the police to notify them of the accident and drives away. Officer Hannagan (Clark Gregg, LIVE FROM BAGHDAD) shows up on the scene and uncovers the truth. Or is it the truth? Did Jack really hit and kill this guy?

We back-pedal to another group of lives, a trio of young boys out for a good time. They’re driving around, drinking, and letting ...um ...everything hang-out. In fact, one of them decides to pee out the window and it is during this time that the driver accidentally runs into a young woman in the middle of the road, instantly killing her. How terrible. Or is it? In the process of slamming on the brakes, the young man who was peeing out the window loses his manhood, too. Ouch!

Another set involves Buzzy (Hilary Swank, MILLION DOLLAR BABY) and Duffy (Shawn Hatosy, THE POSTMAN) who are workmates at a local convenience store. Duffy needs cash and decides to rob the store (with Buzzy’s approval). Trouble is, Buzzy wants him to wound her so that it looks like she was trying to protect the store and won’t get fired. A gunshot overheard. A bowling ball. A missing set of keys. All of these things lead to some rather outlandish yet darkly funny hijinks.

The final set of lives (mostly) are the family of the aforementioned Norma (Hershey). She’s married to Frank (Patrick Swayze, GHOST) and they have a daughter named Cheri (Rachael Leigh Cook, SHE'S ALL THAT) whom starts all of this pandemonium. It is her who is on the phone with Jack (Thomas) at the beginning of the film and it is this that causes Jack to get into the "accident". It is also Cheri who is responsible for the death of a young man by having sex with him in a cemetery and causing a headstone to fall on his head, thus crushing his brains out. She’s not a very nice lady, out for "the money", and she’s using everyone, including her father, in order to get what she wants. She is the one who’s responsible for the dead guy that Jack hits; he didn’t run-over and kill anyone. It was Cheri’s father throwing the body of the bashed-in-brains guy off an overpass and landing on Jack’s car. She’s also the young woman who gets hit and killed by the trio of boys out having a good time. And she’s been pretending to be pregnant and needing money from her boyfriends in order to get an abortion. One of these boyfriends, as it turns out, is Duffy, who would use the money from his robbery in order to pay for Cheri’s procedure. But her death puts a quick end to that and closes pandora’s box.

Twisting the viewer’s perceptions is the game here, and it’s pulled off pretty well. The story was entertaining and I kept watching, only to be amazed at how these lives intersected.

The only downside is the impossibility of certain aspects. Most notably is the cop, Officer Hannagan, who is the only law enforcement official we ever see. Considering all of the death, shooting, accidents, and other bizarre occurrences, the police would’ve been swarming over these scenes. But no. All we see is one lone officer with no crime scenes. Not likely.

Still, the story moves along a great clip and the audience is entertained by the unfolding stories.

No movie trailer available. Soooorrrrry!


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