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My New Gun Review

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Gerald and Debbie are an average couple living in New Jersey. One day Gerald gives his wife a revolver for personal safety, the gun quickly gets stolen by Skippy, their oddball next-door neighbour. When Gerald is hospitalised trying to get it back, Debbie starts spending more and more time with Skippy.

★★★★★

This low budget independent art-house movie slouches around in David Lynch territory but never really gets anywhere. Debbie (Lane) is a bored suburban housewife banged up in New Jersey with a neurotic hubby and an empty life. Things change when hubby insists she keeps a .38 revolver on her and, unsure what to do with it, she puts it in her vanity drawer where it gets stolen by Skippy (Le Gros), the ragged, boyish next-door neighbour in whom Debbie has taken an interest. Is he up to no good? Hubby thinks so, but after demanding the gun back, he is accidentally shot in the foot and confined to hospital.

The scene is set for Debbie to confront the banality of her life. The phallic token initially intended to protect her, ends up liberating her as she begins to explore her surroundings. She discovers, for instance, that Skippy lives with his mother (Tess Harper), a zombified ex-Country star with a heavy drugs habit. When her violent husband and ex-manager turn up to reclaim her, the mother is bundled off to a hotel by Debbie and Skippy, who by this time have got the hots for each other in a blank kind of way.

Cochran manages to extract uniformly good performances from her cast but seems unsure about what kind of movie she is making.The sitcom absurdism of Debbie's marriage is well handled, but Skippy and his battered family exist as only the vaguest kind of metaphor.

In the end you get the impression that Cochran patronises her characters without quite understanding them, a situation that perhaps explains the film's awkwardness.