Film

Hangout Comedy Loitering With Intent Is Never as Strong as Its Cast

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Adam Rapp’s Loitering With Intent — a lackadaisical hangout comedy that tries to be both a winking, self-reflexive look at screenwriting and a resonant study of relationships — suffers from a thrown-together vibe that is only rarely eclipsed by its overqualified supporting cast.

Marisa Tomei, Sam Rockwell, and Brian Geraghty are among the distinguished players lending occasional weight to the movie; before their arrival, however, Rapp introduces Raphael (Ivan Martin) and Dominic (Michael Godere), fortyish actors “in an age void” who tend bar in Brooklyn to bankroll their struggling careers.

The pair catches a break when a producer (Natasha Lyonne) expresses interest in their micro-budget, noir-tinged script — which doesn’t actually exist, yet. She gives them a ten-day window to deliver the material. In need of a quiet place to write, the two drive to the upstate country home of Dominic’s sister, Gigi (Tomei). Instead of seclusion, however, Raphael and Dominic encounter distractions: Ava (the promising Isabelle McNally), Gigi’s seductive friend; Gigi’s boyfriend, Wayne (Rockwell), and Wayne’s surf-dude brother (Geraghty); and, of course, Gigi herself, who’s torn between ex-flame Raphael and the PTSD-addled SEAL Team Six veteran Wayne.

That Martin and Godere are the credited screenwriters might account for the workshop-like quality of their scenes: The references to Ingmar Bergman and Sweet Smell of Success are as dubious as Rapp’s avowal in the press notes that he gleaned inspiration from Seventies classics in the Five Easy Pieces vein. Rather, this is an indifferently filmed, sloppily conceived story that finds infrequent life through resourceful production design (Gigi’s house is strewn with Modelo, Red Bull, and scribbled-on note cards) and on-edge work from Tomei and Rockwell.