Chip Hourihan’s film kinda plays like a Charles Bukowski road trip adventure. Not quite as extreme or debauch, but every bit as depressing as some of the man’s tales can get.
Fifteen-year-old Jim and his father roam from town to town, avoiding creditors and changing identities. This film focuses on their stay in a small Arizona town where Jim’s father takes a job as a desk clerk at a motel. This is where pops hooks up with Alida, a pretty drifter who quickly becomes his girlfriend. Not knowing his mother, as well as being at an awkward sexual age (not to mention that this kid looks like he buys his clothes at The Little Folks Shop), this relationship between his father and this fairly young woman awakens desires within the boy – both family-like and sexual.
This film does creep along at first, but once all of the ingredients are present and Jim winds up being seduced by this attractive drifter, that’s when things get cookin’ and your full attention is demanded. But this isn’t a very sexy seduction. It’s more desperate and despicable, making for an uncomfortable experience. Along with this awkward temptation, Jim is constantly being put to the test, whether it be learning to drive a car or fixing dinner for his father and his new girlfriend.
I actually imagine that this story would make a better book than a film. But the director has still created a fairly interesting piece, though it may duck your attention at first.