Addicted To Fresno


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

"If the male characters are on the flimsy side, at least it makes a change from the women being relegated."

The outward tang of Jamie Babbit and Karey Dornetto's comedy may be sharply acidic but crack the surface a little and, like Leslye Hyland's Bachelorette, a sweet centre starts to bubble up. Shucking off the will they/won't they usual of rom coms, Dornetto's script relegates that to an enjoyable lesbian subplot, while sisterly bonding takes centre stage.

Also taking centre stage - and about time, too - are the comedic talents of Natasha Lyonne and Judy Greer as Martha and Shannon. The former is a good girl, proud of her Employee of the Month parking spot, and who works hard at her chambermaid's job. Shy and uncertain about the sexual come-ons of Kelly (Aubrey Plaza), she's the polar opposite of her sister Shannon, who is fresh from sex addiction rehab, ready to jump anything with a pulse as long as they don't get serious, and big on "buzz kill".

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When an ill-advised quickie with a hotel guest (John Daly) results in a less than happy ending, the two sisters find themselves attempting to dispose of a body. And so the stage is set for farce, laced with humour that rarely strays out of the bathroom. The result is considerably funnier than you might imagine mainly because the relationship between the two leads remains sweetly convincing - although I don't think the world is ever going to be ready to embrace Holocaust gags. The female-centric universe also helps Dornetto get away with scenes such as the moment when Shannon shows nice girl receptionist Kristen (Jessica St Clair) how to give a blow job - a set-up very similar and yet much more successful than the 'mansplaining' of how to have an orgasm in Sleeping With Other People.

The television background of Dornetto shows in the episodic style, which has a tendency to leap from one set piece to another, with a midway montage of photos from a lesbian party at the hotel coming across as lazy rather than inspired - but providing you don't like your jokes squeaky clean, the laughs keep on coming.

Babbit and Dornetto deserve praise for including non-heterosexual and mixed race daliances without 'flagging' them up - these are just characters who happen to inhabit this world, which is how it should be - and if the male characters are on the flimsy side, at least it makes a change from the women being relegated. The colour is off and the setting is snark but the high energy levels and great performances win you over.

Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2015
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Addicted To Fresno packshot
A woman tries to help her sex addict sister.
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Director: Jamie Babbit

Writer: Karey Dornetto

Starring: Natasha Lyonee, Judy Greer, Aubrey Plaza, Fred Armisen, Molly Shannon

Year: 2015

Runtime: 81 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


EIFF 2015

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