Then a young woman shows up at one of his gigs and says she’s his daughter Tessa (Tessa Divine), and she wants him to pay all the child support he owes his mother. The arguments between Richie and Tessa are some of the best arguments between a grown child and a frustrated parent ever captured on screen. Seidl credits his actors’ teamwork by holding them in medium shots and trying not to cut until they’re done. They overlap, they tear at each other, sometimes they yell, and there are times when it seems like one of the actors took the scene in an unexpected direction, and the other decided to roll with it—and this, too. , felt real. .
One of the many things that makes Richie attractive is that if you describe him as a gigolo playing music on the side rather than a working musician, he might disagree with you. Seidl and his co-writer Veronica Franz have no illusions about any of their characters. Tessa seems a little less righteous and more of a scam as the story goes on; he has a girlfriend and he has an entourage. Richie’s clients and friends at the party have lives, and Richie’s almost uncontrollable chaos is their brief escape from responsibility. There’s no special appeal for anyone in the story or anything romantic (although there’s something about Thomas that makes you like Richie no matter how low-key his behavior is).
There are probably too many scenes detailing Richie’s carousing of various women—the issue isn’t any specific behavior depicted but a certain repetition set, the “OK, we’ve got it” that cause. But even when the movie seems to be spinning its wheels a little, there’s always a pivot or shocking revelation that makes the scene worth it, like when Richie is too drunk to perform, and his partner has to stop to go to an adjacent room. and takes care of his old, bedridden mother. The best parts are reminiscent of John Cassavetes films where you can hardly believe how badly the characters are portrayed and how far the actors are willing to go to get the level of deception and misery. It rejoices in a terrible way. Liberation, almost.