Film Review by Kam Williams
Clara Mamet Makes Memorable Directorial Debut with Semi-Autobiographical Coming-of-Age Adventure
Maude (Clara Mamet) is a rudderless rebel without a clue, much to the chagrin of her concerned parents, Carl (William H. Macy) and Anita (Rebecca Pidgeon). Not only does the out of control 17 year-old start her day by smoking and drinking first thing in the morning, but she ends up in trouble in English class by insinuating that Anne Frank had fabricated all the entries in “The Diary of a Young Girl.”
After being sent to detention for such a tasteless remark, Maude only makes matters worse by uttering an anti-Semitic slur over the PA system. In fast order, the headstrong smart aleck soon finds herself suspended from school and abandoned by both her best friend and the boy who recently took her virginity.
Fortunately, a shot at redemption arrives after her grandmother (Willow Hale) dies unexpectedly, when Maude learns that she’s been left millions on the condition that she turn her life around and attend college. But at the reading of the will, the inveterate iconoclast informs the estate attorney (David Paymer) that she has no interest in the inheritance, since her hobby is suicide.
That shocking revelation lands the young lady on a therapist’s (John Pirruccello) couch, where she proceeds to double down on a desire to die. Will morose Maude come out of the self-destructive, death spiral before it’s too late? That is the question at the heart of Two-Bit Waltz, an adventure marked by a quirkiness reminiscent of Wes Anderson as well as by an irreverence reminiscent of Sarah Silverman.
Rising star Clara Mamet makes a memorable writing and directorial debut, here, with this semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale where she also plays the protagonist, a troubled teen struggling to find her place in the world. Despite being the daughter of writer/director David Mamet and actress Rebecca Pidgeon, Clara has, to her credit, managed to craft a fine first film free of obvious parental influences.
A delightfully-droll, dysfunctional family dramedy!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity and a sexual reference
Running time: 81 minutes
Distributor: Monterey Media