Movie Review: ‘Izzy Gets The F*uck Across Town’

Review by Jacquelin Hipes

Izzy (Mackenzie Davis) is a certifiable hot mess. The morning we meet her she’s trying to sneak out of a stranger’s apartment, her cater-waiter uniform stained with what could either be blood or wine, completely oblivious to how she got there or what happened. Taken on its own that might not seem so bad, but things only get messier after her escape. She discovers through social media that her ex-boyfriend Roger (Alex Russell) is celebrating his engagement to her ex-best friend that evening, an event that inspires her frenzied trek from Santa Monica to Los Feliz in an attempt to win Roger back.

Even without a car or the cash for public transportation, Izzy’s journey suffers from an astonishing number of diversions. A stranger (Alia Shawkat) offers to give her a lift to the right neighborhood after stopping on an errand. That quick task turns out to be robbing a friend’s home with her junkie boyfriend, who obligingly jabs Izzy with a needle before the pair escape. With the help of a neighbor and her nephew’s Razor scooter she eventually makes her way to her sister Virginia’s (Carrie Coon) home. The movie’s one notable interlude happens there when the two siblings, once singers in a moderately successful local band before Virginia quit in favor of domesticity, perform a duet of Heavens to Betsey’s “Axemen”. Davis and Coon both have lovely voices, bringing out a rare moment of vulnerability for Izzy.

The film hums with a false sense of urgency and pseudo-punk rock sensibility. A journey that should take less than an hour gets dragged out into nearly six and, with the exception of the impromptu duet, isn’t really worth the distractions. Each successive interlude provides Izzy the opportunity to rethink her obsessive need to crash Roger’s engagement party but her blind determination soldiers on, untouched. Davis plays the manic and unchanging ne’er-do-well with appropriate verve. Shawkat and Coon also distinguish themselves, although the former is given regrettably little to do. By the time the ambiguous ending plays out one can’t help but wonder what the point of all that running around was, and if Izzy might have found herself in the same place if she’d just stayed home.

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