Bodies, Rest and Motion Review

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Twenty-something Nick loses his job as a TV-salesman in Arizona. Realising he needs a change, he decides that he wants to move to Montana with his girlfriend Beth. Beth's not sure and Tim goes for a solo trip around the desert. While he's away Beth talks things through with her best friend Carol (who also happens to be Nick's ex), before falling for local housepainter Sid. When Nick gets back he's made a decision.


After co-directing with its writer Neal Jiminez, the moving paraplegia drama The Waterdance, Michael Steinberg attracted the star of that film, Eric Stoltz, to co-produce and appear in this project, one which he'd been trying to make for four years. It's easy to see why backers weren't falling over themselves to produce it, for with its firmly 80s mindset, this dreary tale of four twentysomethings in a dusty Arizona town — despite giving itself a publicity pump-up as a "blue collar sex lies and videotape" — takes navel-gazing to the ultimate boundaries of tedium.

Oddball slob Nick (a spectacularly barnetted Roth) is tiring of the women in his life — current partner Beth (Fonda) and her best chum Carol (Cates) (also Nick's ex) — and, having lost both his TV salesman job and a fair percentage of his marbles, he decides that the solution to his and Beth's problems lies in a move north to Montana. This decision is not reached without its fair share of angst, however, and thus while Nick takes off on a solo jaunt around the desert to search his soul, the two women left behind have heart-to-hearts about Nick, relationships and — yes! — the meaning of life.

Enter at this point wistful house-painter (and apprentice philosopher) Sid (Stoltz), brought in by the landlord to slap a bit of emulsion about, who falls for Beth on the spot and whose answer to her unformed yearnings is, "Come hold me and you'll be happy." And that, essentially, is it, highlighting the problem with films about directionless lives that they are so easily aimless themselves unless the writer knows something the characters don't.

Adapted by Roger Hedden from his play — and what a numbing theatrical experience that must have been — this is in every way clearly the work of very young men. "I want to be inside you," says Sid to Beth at one point. "Well," she replies, "put it inside me." "No," he insists, "I want to put myself inside of you." Pur-leeeze.

A fairly tedious film, with a silly script.