Laundry Day

Laundry Day is organized around a barroom scuffle and traces the path that brought each scuffler to the dustup in question. They’re all regulars at the downscale New Orleans drinking establishment, and their backstories involve drugs, sex, philandering, street busking, and lots of loafing around.

There’s Natalee (Samantha Ann Huffman), a street performer who twirls a flaming baton rather ineptly and considers herself an “artist.” Ethan (Dave Davis) is a pot dealer who habitually samples his wares and can’t do basic math well enough to ensure he turns a profit. Bart (Billy Slaughter) is the grimy proprietor of the dump where the scuffle takes place. It’s a bar with a laundromat attached, hence the film’s title. And Dee (Kerry Cahill) is a singer who can never seem to catch a break, and whose personal life, like those of the rest of this crew, is an unbroken series of self-inflicted calamities.

The film moves at a leisurely pace for the most part as we see the characters go about their day to day lives, such as they are. As each pries open his or her respective eyes to start this new day, the morning’s first drink or bong hit is not far off.

“…a barroom scuffle and traces the path that brought each scuffle to the dustup…”

The film doesn’t take place in real time. Instead, it takes us through each of the barroom scufflers’ day and the events leading up to the pugilistic encounter. As the fight begins the action suddenly rewinds, the clock is turned back. Then we begin again from another character’s point of view. It’s an interesting way of telling the story, and each character’s interactions leading up to the main event are intermittently engaging. There are a few moments here and there when the banter feels natural and the actors are at ease with one another, and that’s when the film is most likable. The deceptions they throw back and forth, as well as each one’s own self-deceptions, begin to make the whole thing cohere. But those moments are fleeting.

Near the end, the promise that a talent agent is coming to the bar, where Dee is performing, adds an extra layer of tension to the evening — at least for her. It’s an encounter that could change her fortunes, and so goes the story of each of the bar denizens, who are all hoping for something better, but are constantly struggling against their own worst enemies, namely themselves.

Laundry Day (2018) Directed by Randy Mack. Written by Randy Mack. Starring Dave Davis, Kerry Cahill, Samantha Ann, Billy Slaughter, Carrie Anne Rose.

6 out of 10 cases of the bedspins

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