The independent dramedy is one of filmdom’s most interesting and reliable genres. With stories and actors that are grounded very much in reality, movies that fall under this genre provide for the most honest pieces of cinema to ever come to fruition. Loitering with Intent is one such film and while it has two notable stars headlining it, it feels like any other indie production, not flashy or anything huge. It is a bittersweet tale that features some very talented people and it is a movie that everyone should get around to seeing at some point.
Raphael (Ivan Martin) and Dominic (Michael Godere) are struggling actors in New York City, making ends meet by working as bartenders. Fed up with an existence that they feel is below them, they soon decide to get a little proactive. When they randomly run into a big shot producer (Natasha Lyonne), the two actors tell the producer that they are writing a script. Peaking the producer’s interest, the two men now have 10 days to finish the screenplay and submit it before it’s too late. In order to successfully finish said script, Dominic and Raphael venture upstate to hole up in a country house, so that they can get some work done. But when a flirty neighbor Ava (Isabelle McNally), one of Rafael’s ex girlfriend’s Gigi (Marisa Tomei), and mentally unstable brothers Wayne (Sam Rockwell) and Devon (Brian Geraghty), distraction takes over and the writing duo must confront the unexpected house guests and confront their inner demons in the process. Also, Wayne is Gigi’s current beau, so this creates some serious tension between him and Raphael.
Loitering with Intent is a small film with big ideas. With a slim runtime of just 80 minutes, it is a film that feels much longer and this isn’t a bad thing at all. It just has an air of a big budget dramedy since Tomei and Rockwell have such impressive resumes and the rest of the cast also knocks it out of the park. It should also be noted that Tomei and Rockwell also serve as producers for the film. Having said that, Ivan Martin and Michael Godere are also sensational here, pulling triple duty as writer/producer/stars. Both men pull off each job excellently and here’s hoping they bring their creative spark to future projects. Martin and Godere’s script is an effortless example of realism brought to a movie. Their dialogue flows naturally from the mouths of the actors and it is an absolute joy to watch. That same authentic feel can also be said about Adam Rapp’s (Winter Passing, In Treatment) exquisite direction. He has a firm grasp of the camera and each shot is strong evidence of this. Cinematographer Radium Cheung (All is Lost, Margin Call) should also be commended since the lighting in the film is mostly natural inside the country house, with beams of sunlight piercing the set. The final campfire scene is also lit quite well with nothing but the flames flickering off of the cast’s faces.
Though Loitering with Intent contains Academy Award-winning actress Tomei and the extremely talented and always reliable Rockwell, this is Martin and Godere’s baby through and through. Based on actual stories from the actor/writers’ pasts, this is a film that mirrors real life in more ways than one. Their tale has been told with Loitering with Intent and it is a film anyone trying to make it in film business should see. Not only that, it is a film about friendship and old flames that might get reignited. It’s a movie about people and people on a mission to find themselves. Basically, this is one dramedy that is not to be missed.