It’s like bad luck is following me,” Allie (Trieste Kelly Dunn) says midway through Loves Her Gun, and you may be inclined to believe her.
Geoff Marslett’s film starts with the Brooklynite getting mugged by two men in animal masks just blocks from her apartment. Feeling spontaneous — as well as a little traumatized — she then absconds to Austin with a band on tour, one of whose cars gets broken into shortly after their return to the Lone Star State.
The fallout from Allie’s mugging can be seen most visibly in the shiner on her face, but the growing unease that keeps her awake at night and on edge throughout the day is a tension Dunn suggests in every gesture and clipped response.
Though the film is generally sedate for its first hour-plus, small moments of violence sporadically keep us on our toes just as Allie is. This all has a lived-in, almost documentary-like realism to it, but as drama it’s occasionally inert — one movie can only feature so many montages (whether of road trips, parties, or river excursions) before approaching whimsy overload.
Dunn’s performance carries it through these valleys, and it’s hard not to be hooked by the time her Allie decides to stop bemoaning her bad luck and start making her own.
Though Loves Her Gun is only indirectly about guns until its final act, by the time you connect the dots and start dreading the inevitable you may even find yourself missing those damn montages.