Rid of Me


A movie whose first five minutes contain a woman having menstrual blood rubbed on her face in a grocery store, a sub–Terrence Malick whispery voiceover, and sex initiated with the words “Wanna hump?” is unlikely to leave one indifferent. The “Wanna hump?” couple is squarehead bro Mitch (John Keyser) and his wife, Meris (Katie O’Grady). They return to Mitch’s Oregon hometown after his business goes under, and spooked, Olive Oyl–ish Meris finds it impossible to mix with Mitch’s dumbfuck friends and their dumbfuck wives, a conflict established by contrasting shots of the rest of the group in a unified phalanx to isolated, mousy Meris, with O’Grady doing a Kristen Wiig sweaty-palms act. The inevitable divorce prompts thirtyish Meris to punk out like a teenager before finally finding her way to inner peace (a/k/a lots of beatific grinning). The editing (also by writer-director James Westby) is reality-TV-show twitch; Meris’s suffering is enshrined, while the other characters are compartmentalized into Meris’s Goldilocks’s choices, between preps (too cold), punks (too hot), and softie indie-record-store clerks (just right!). Rid of Me is a bad movie, but at least it’s a flailing, innocent badness.

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