The white trash family of 13-year-old Luli (Chloé Moretz) includes drunken parents (Juliette Lewis and Anson Mount) and an uncle whose idea of the perfect birthday gift for his niece is a 45-caliber Smith & Wesson. On a whim, Luli hits the road for Vegas, and within two hitched rides, finds herself embroiled in the sordid lives of Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), a psycho charmer in a cowboy hat, and the fast-talking Glenda (Blake Lively), who gives Luli her first hit of cocaine. Moretz, who is 15 now, calls to mind the young Jodie Foster as she paints Luli as a girl who knows everything about the world, and absolutely nothing, all at once. Sadly, writer-director Derick Martini (Lymelife) and co-writer Andrea Portes, adapting her 2007 novel, betray their star’s commitment by glossing over Luli’s deepest feelings. When she is sexually assaulted (off-screen, while Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams” plays on the soundtrack) and later hogtied to a bed, Martini strikes such a nonchalant tone that one momentarily doubts that a rape actually took place. It did, but the filmmaker focuses instead on the B-movie melodrama between Eddie and Glenda. Too odd to be funny, too cold-hearted to be tragic, Hick is an infuriating muddle.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 9, 2012