Addicted to Fresno

Addicted To Fresno
Directed by Jamie Babbit

Starring Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne, Aubrey Plaza, Fred Armisen, Jessica St. Clair, Molly Shannon, Michael Hitchcock, Ron Livingston, Malcolm Barrett, Allison Tolman, Kumail Nanjiani and Clea DuVall
In UK Cinemas October 9th, 2015

by Joanna Orland

Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne play sisters who find themselves in a bit of a bind after one of them accidentally commits murder in Addicted to Fresno.  Cast against type, Greer plays Shannon, a sex addict recently out of rehab who is forced to work with her sister as a hotel maid.  Shannon accidentally kills one of the hotel’s guests, showing little remorse as she ropes in her sister to help cover up her crime.  Also cast against type, Lyonne plays Martha, an optimistic and doting sister to Shannon, always there to try to help her sister get on the right track.

It’s wonderful to see Lyonne and Greer play the characters you would expect the other to take on.  Greer brings a likability to Shannon, a character who otherwise has no redeeming qualities, while Lyonne’s normally tough persona is softened in the more caring role of Martha, a woman who puts her sister’s best interests before hers.  One of Martha’s own interests is her budding romantic relationship with Kelly, played by Parks & Recreation‘s Aubrey Plaza.

The support cast extends beyond Plaza to include wonderful talent such as Ron Livingston, Allison Tolman, Fred Armisen, Molly Shannon, Clea DuVall and Kumail Nanjiani, all in cameos or small roles.  In spite of including such a strong comedic cast, the film lacks cleverness in its humour.  The tone is light and struggles to make an impression, causing this film to feel throwaway, rather than the indie mainstay I so longed for it to be.

Much as this film slightly misfires its comedy, Addicted to Fresno makes for an entertaining movie that features many familiar and funny faces, carried solidly by earnest performances from its three leading ladies.


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