Directed by Evelyn Purcell
At the USA Charles
"TO BE or not to be ain't much of a choice," complains the now deceased founder of Buckeye Basin on his head-stone. Such is the comic dilemma of the town pariah, Cassie (Rosanna Arquette). After stabbing the village stud with a fork for loving and leaving her, Cassie is none too popular in her hometown. Having bungled suicide attempt after attempt, she resigns herself to a boring job and a life in limbo.
Enter the traveling Shakespearean theater company, stage left, complete with a Romeo techy named Riley (Eric Roberts). Cassie joins acting classes to escape her monotonous life, but pretty soon she's performing as Juliet offstage as much as on. If she can just cut away her town ties, and trust her slightly mad Romeo, Cassie may find happiness in L.A. But of course that's easier said than done.
Although she falls into a dipsy blond mode a couple times too often, Arquette is definitely likable and quirkily humorous as Cassie. The transformations her character undergoes in Fool are more natural than those undergone by the ditsy Roberta in Desperately Seeking Susan, perhaps because they represent the growth of a person rather than the alteration of a female archetype.
Eric Roberts is superb as the unbalanced amorous technician. "I'm not a very secure citizen," Riley confesses, as if anyone needed to ask. Riley blunders, rages and loves his way into Cassie's life, mirroring Cassie's insecurity with his own lifetime of self-doubt. "You'll never do anything worse than I have done," says Riley, to reassure Cassie. Together, Roberts and Arquette's romantic stumblings make Fool a enjoyable, user-friendly film.
The film's major fault is that it drifts through the scenes of Buckeye Baisin and Cassie's life without really going anywhere. Nobody's Fool is another short film that seems very long. There are nice little scenes and nice minor characters, but these nice little things keep coming along without moving the movie very far. The film could have easily been tightened up around the characters of Cassie and Riley without much loss of subplot appeal.
Still, this film is such a warm fuzzy bunny compared to the good but aggressive Blue Velvets of the season, it's worth seeing by way of contrast. Definitely a good flick to see with a date. Definitely a flick that'll make you feel okay about life after it's over. Definitely not a foolish choice.