| December 17, 2009

FIX, a film inspired by true events, places us more in a stock car’s passenger seat than a movie theaters’. Explosive and chaotic from the starting line, this faux-documentary takes us on a wild ride, filled with choppy cuts and shaky hand cam footage that leaves us inquisitive as to our whereabouts.
Documentary filmmakers Bella (Olivia Wilde of TV’s House M.D.) and Milo (Tao Ruspoli, making his directorial debut) travel down from San Francisco, away from their most recent project covering America’s problematic prison system, to bail out Leo (Shawn Andrews, Dazed and Confused), Milo’s drug addict brother, from a Calabasas prison. Only when they arrive, they become faced with having to raise a sum of five thousand dollars to enter Leo into rehab before Leo is forced to spend the next three years of his life behind bars.
Guided through LA’s sprawling neighborhoods by the adept-swindler and socialite, Leo takes them from one shady situation after the other in order to come up with the funds: stealing a friend’s espresso machine, investing in a police-trained dog for resale, selling cars to chop shops and attempting to sell pot in LA’s ghettos. What is most amazing is not so much the situations but the willingness from the colorful array of sub-characters to allow filming even though they’re illegal activity is being captured on tape. None seem to voice any objections, which may actually benefit Milo and Bella’s original project.
Each failed effort to generate the budget, however, makes Leo’s character more and more irredeemable and hopeless, and while this should evoke a sense of either pity or disgust for this character, the film is able to do neither. It’s straining to invest in Leo’s character on an emotional level when he takes everything as a joke, breezing by heavy situations and confrontations, and lacking any sense of concern for anyone but himself. While these can be the traits of an addict, we are never provided with any other depiction of him, and therefore are never given a multi-dimensional portrayal of his character.
For a film that’s supposedly focused on exploring the real life of a drug addict, Ruspoli seems more concerned with maintaining a sense of uber-cool, flashy filmmaking, instead glamorizing and ultimately trivializing Leo’s situation. The soundtrack was one of the few perks to this film, though outside of that, FIX needs some fixing.

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