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Hopper Penn (Sean Penn’s son) plays Morgan, a mentally challenged 23 year-old virgin who gets bullied in his job as a dishwasher. As he sits in a hot tub surrounded by strangers, he shares his story of true love. True love, that is, for a heroine-using, crack-smoking street hooker named Carla, who he sees by the side of the road, after being recommended by his brother. Smitten and shy, he pays her to talk to him, and at one point, wants to maybe hold her hand. Needless to say, she is quite taken aback by his sweet innocence, and soon they are sort of dating, in a very chaste sort of way.

This is director Michael Maxxis’ first dramatic feature, shot on location in Edmonton, with some scenes shot in Blackfoot, Idaho. Paz de la Huerta (a stand-out in Gaspar Noé’s ENTER THE VOID) is compelling as the prostitute, who may have a heart of gold, but is still tough-as-marbles street smart. Rosanna Arquette shines in a brief role as Morgan’s casino-addicted Mom.

Love can take many forms, and in a world of venality and mendacity, it is nice to see a sweet affection develop between two people from opposite sides of the street. An overly familiar story line is transcended by the chemistry that develops between the two lead characters. Their connection, established in the worst of all possible worlds, is touching in its naivety.

Oldenberg Film Festival (Winner, Best Actress, and Winner, Spirit of Cinema-German Independence Award)
  • Year
  • Runtime
    110 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
    Canadian Premiere
  • Rating
    Contains strong language,nudity, sexuality, drugs
  • Note
    Director's Cut
  • Director
    Michael Maxxis
  • Screenwriter
    Michael Maxxis
  • Producer
    David Michaels, Nicolette Saina, Hopper Jack Penn, Morgan Gold
  • Executive Producer
    Sam Osman, Nicolette Saina
  • Cast
    Hopper Jack Penn, Paz De La Huerta, Donald Cerrone, Michael Madsen, Rosanna Arquette, Mickey Avalon
  • Cinematographer
    Larry Smith
  • Editor
    Wayne Wahrman