|The Low Life |
Actors: Rory Cochrane, Sean Austin
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
LOW LIFE CAPTURES THE ANGST OF TWENTY-SOMETHINGS
John H. | U.K. | 01/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like a young man's version of DAY OF THE LOCUST, Hickenlooper's THE LOW LIFE beautifully captures the loneliness of jaded youths trying to make their way in the Darwinian world of Los Angeles. A beautiful award winning performance by Sean Astin makes this film emotionally powerful on the MIDNIGHT COWBOY level... A true classic movie!"
A. Ort | Youngstown, Ohio | 09/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is targeted as a Generation X film. Apparently that would be me. So of course I resent the tag. I had no idea this film existed and stumbled across it in the video store. Having survived the 'Gen X' marketing of that era ('Reality Bites' or 'Slacker' anyone?), that's probably a good thing.
Like the book 'Generation X' this film is set in California where a host of overeducated twentysomethings are adrift in the world, trying to make a connection, having to make something of themselves when their privilege runs out.
The lead character, played by Rory Cochrane, is a tight-lipped, seemingly calm wannabe writer. Surrounded by two of his Yale buddies, they fumble through their days as temps sorting credit card slips and at night spewing witticisms and philosophy over drinks. Enter Sean Astin's character, an overly anxious nice guy (i.e. the loser), who, though taken advantage of and looked down upon, actually affects the change in the story.
Though relatively slow moving it is not as pretentious as other films of the era, trying too hard to be cool without being cool. I survived the 90s and remember the feelings at the time and, on some level, could relate to the characters. For some reason, especially the ending, it left me strangely affected.
There wasn't anything overly profound in the film but it did tap into the underlying bleakness and cynicism of that time and Sean Astin's character stirred up memories I could relate to which is probably why the film resonated.
A good film, though a bit somber, when you're feeling kind of numb but not sure why and don't feel like the obvious film ploys to stir your emotions."
Under rated..and not in the PG to R to NC 17 way...
Maxim Aquavier | st louis, MO USA | 11/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"wow. i'm really dissappointed that this movie isn't available on DVD or VHS. I was hoping to snag it on DVD...it's a real letdown in that this movie slipped through the cracks in its not being credited as a great indie film, which it is... this film is a classic example of small fish trying to get by in a big nasty pond...the characters interaction with one another is poignant and very "real". who hasn't known a person in their life whose "niceness" is a bit too much? but you regret the way you've blown them off...when (i hope) it becomes available on DVD or VHS, i recommend any indie film buff to snatch it up...this movie was swingers before swingers minus the glitz and a hefty dash of artist driven frustration wrapped up in sublime emotion."
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 09/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"George Hickenlooper's 1995 film "The Low Life" may experience resurgence due to the release of this DVD. Rory Cochrane who has now become a familiar face after several seasons on "CSM Miami" & in the film Hart's War gives an excellent performance. His character is so tightly controlled that as the events swirl around him, we see a man trying to stay apart from the world. This is explained as advice from his uncle so that he can be a writer. Taking several low-level temporary jobs like ripping apart credit card receipts and working for a real estate agency, the world of Los Angeles is unusual. Kyra Sedgwick who has now become a familiar face due to cable TV's series "The Closer" plays Bevan, an unstable woman who lives in an apartment with a clogged sink. Their sputtering romance is gripping & volatile. Ron Livingston who was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2001 for the mini-series "Band of Brothers" plays Chad, a spoiled rich kid that has burned all the good will of his family and tries to lean on others for everything from peanuts to booze. The scene where John winds up wasted on Chad's couch only to have Chad start stroking his hair was as unexpected as it was motivating to revive John and propel him back on the street. Sean Astin who we subsequently came to love as Sam in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy plays John's roommate Andy. Apparently, Andy is a bit mentally slow or perhaps just very socially awkward. Astin plays the character to the hilt, measuring himself in the mirror to see if his head's too big for his body. His pathetic sweetness that lets others take advantage of him results in the climactic point for John. James LeGros who was in Zodiac (Widescreen Edition) and played several seasons on TV's "Ally McBeal" is the ineffective landlord John works for. Christian Meoli who has done a lot of TV work plays their sidekick Leonard who tries to rob a bar after a sufficient amount of liquor. Renee Zellweger has a cameo as a poet, but you have to look quick to catch her appearance. Overall, I found "The Low Life" an understated gem. This newer DVD release also has a number of interesting spots that Hickenlooper shot during the recent Hollywood strike with a number of stars like Woody Allen participating. Enjoy!"