Written and directed by Randy Mack, Laundry Day begins with a fight breaking out between four seemingly random individuals at a twenty-four-hour bar in New Orleans. The brawl makes no sense until we become privy to the events of the day leading up to the fisticuffs. Said participants are street performer Natalee (Samantha Ann), the drug dealing Ethan (Dave Davis), down-on-her-luck singer Dee (Kerry Cahill), and the owner of the bar, Bart (Billy Slaughter). We are told the events from the point of view of each involved party. The more we hear, the more twisted the story becomes. It appears everyone has some dirty laundry to air out.
This is a seriously twisted tale of betrayal, sex, drugs, and, well, some other unspeakable things. The comedic crime drama progresses slowly through the story, and it’s honestly paced a tad too slow. As a result, there were times when I struggled to remain focused. However, the film’s redeeming quality is that Mack regularly provides new, unique, and mind-blowing information about the characters and their journeys as the narrative progresses. It seems like each time viewers believe that the story can’t become more contorted, it outdoes itself and pulls viewers down a rabbit hole of horror.
While Laundry Day isn’t a horror film, the themes and the scenarios it depicts are frightening enough to warrant fear. However, the unique nature of the ever-winding journeys is something to be proud of, as its success comes primarily as a result of the layered script. The banter and dialogue are natural, even if the narrative is absurd.
“…a fight [breaks] out between four seemingly random individuals at a twenty-four-hour bar…”
As the film’s editor, Eva Contis played a pivotal role. She had the challenging job of piecing things together to ensure that the events remained congruent. Rewinding and seeing new pieces of the same puzzle creates an intentional semi-fractured feeling. As such, a smooth transition from one POV to another is a must. While nothing necessarily feels out of place, I’m not sure that Contis achieved the complete harmony throughout the many narratives that they hoped for.
But, I’m genuinely impressed by what the cast brings to the table. They are tasked with conveying difficult and powerful scenarios while, at the same time, keeping the mood light. Davis, Cahill, Ann, and Slaughter all do a wonderful job of finding the right tonal balance, keeping viewers from feeling overwhelmed. Laundry Day sees the acting become the primary focus, and the entire cast, including the supporting players, does a superb job of tying a beautiful little bow around the often grotesque scenarios.
Laundry Day has the potential to be a riveting tale of “he said, she said,” a story that sees secrecy and betrayal converge in a manner that invigorates viewers. Many aspects work effectively due to the, as previously mentioned, number of interesting reveals uncovered throughout the plot. But, there needs to be something greater at the end, something that saw everything marry together – one final payoff. Unfortunately, this never comes to fruition. Ultimately, the film is still a success as its editing, acting, and script are certainly one of a kind.
"…genuinely impressed by what the cast brings to the table."