'Steal Me'

Whether it's the guitar-strum soundtrack, "lyrical" cornfield shots, or arrhythmic performances, Steal Me has at least one indie-film cliché too many. Wedding the strained naturalism of George Washington to a plot out of bad John Irving, the movie follows Jake (Danny Alexander), a thief ambling around Montana looking for his estranged prostitute mom. A towhead named Tucker (Hunter Parrish) catches Jake stealing his car radio, but rather than calling the cops, Tucker takes Jake home to his family, who put him up in the barn, cuing suspicion from Tucker's ex-city-slicker mom (Cara Seymour) and lust from their newly maternal neighbor (Toby Poser). The psychology—kid grows up without mother, thus only wants to have sex with other people's mothers—would have been dated back when Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek toured the badlands, and Alexander, apparently reasoning that the best way to convey youthful uncertainty is to recite each line more tentatively than the last, couldn't sell this part in a sideshow. Jake's a klepto who wants to be stolen himself, but it's hard to imagine anyone wanting him or, for that matter, Steal Me.

 
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