Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993)

“Nick is leaving. Beth is staying. Carol is waiting. Sid is painting.” Billed as “A romantic comedy about four people caught between loving and leaving,” this fairly entertaining “twentysomething”/Generation X/slacker feature that was directed by Michael Steinberg (The Waterdance) offers some fine performances by a crop of (then) young actors, including Bridget Fonda, Eric Stoltz, Tim Roth and Phoebe Cates. The flick takes place in a dreary town somewhere in Arizona where disheveled, rather frantic “Nick” (Roth) has just been fired from his job as a TV salesman. So he enlists his girlfriend “Beth” to help him steal a TV from the store. The impulsive Nick then abandons Beth and heads out of town. Beth falls for house painter “Sid” (Stoltz), who just got her best friend “Carol” (Cates) stoned. Not much action here but the dialogue is crisp and the actors are fun to watch. Oh yeah, and it’s nice to remember a world not so long ago before we became total slaves to GPS devices and cell phones, where you could hit the open road in search of a little adventure, or in Nick’s case, fall into total existential despair. Although, come to think of it, Nick’s use of a road map while driving nearly gets him killed. One of my favorite scenes is when Nick stops at the gas station in the middle of nowhere and tries to get some Native American wisdom from the attendant in regard to an approaching storm. The guy’s like, “it’s just the wind,” or something to that effect. Look for Bridget’s father, Peter, in an Easy Rider-inspired cameo.

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