In Moments of Clarity, our protagonist is a naive, socially awkward woman, Claire (Kristin Wallace). She lives her with her mom Henrietta (Saxon Trainor). Their relationship isn’t the best since Henrietta forces her agoraphobic and sexually inhibited ways upon her daughter. A few blocks away Danielle (Lyndsy Fonseca), makes and watches home movies all day. Neighbours connect and become friends in real life all the time. However, only in movies can make the connections these characters make fantastical and funny, for worse or for better. But mostly the former.
It feels as if the job of the film and some of its supporting characters to treat certain aspects of Claire’s Stockholm Syndrome. And that’s something I’m okay with. So what better way for that treatment to happen than for a plot device to happen? That event, by the way, is Claire accidentally destroying Danielle’s camera. They reluctantly drive away from their parents and towards the electronics shop. People like Claire need baby steps. They add one destination after another until both characters unwind their kinks.
There are hints to where this movie is going, but these are places we want to go. Wallace, who co-writes the film, sprinkles the film with absurdist humour. She and her co-writers make different types of car accidents and trick questions funny. It’s also the kind of movie that makes low sexual humour and juxtapose its presentation to make it fresh. Claire, a person with a normal face, has vivid sexual fantasies with Danielle’s pastor father (Skylar Astin), a person with a normal body. Henrietta watches a blue film about cousins starring a guy named Hal Spreadum (Eric Roberts). A mother and daughter who sees the world differently is funny.
So it’s unfortunate that Wallace being the weak link performance-wise. It is a difficult juggling act to take on playing someone mentally off in a comedy. She delivers her jokes like someone banging a gong, and her choices during the first fifteen minutes make the film a hard sell. But as the film progresses, she does show her vulnerability, which is her better side. She also has the help of her supporting cast like Fonseca and Roberts. Fonseca becomes a valuable straight woman who still gets to land some jokes. Roberts plays two roles and does them justice. Both actors are a great addition to a film that gets quirkier and funnier as it goes along.
- Release Date: 9/23/2016
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