Things aren't going so well for Tommy. He lost his job and his girlfriend left him for his boss. His life revolves around the Trees Lounge, a neighbourhood bar over which he lives, full of the colourful eccentrics one finds in such places. He drunkenly wanders through his life, desperate for some sort of meaning beyond the bar, some sort of meaning to his life.
Buscemi is Tommy Basilio, a 31-year-old loser who, having lost his job as a mechanic, hangs round the titular venue, a drinking dive populated by the desperate and the dispossessed.
Life delivers a number of small boots to the teeth as we find out that his pregnant former girlfriend is now living with his best friend and former boss, and his attempts to restructure a career driving an ice cream van end up with him in bed with the 17-year-old daughter (Sevigny) of a baseball bat wielding pop.
He drinks some more, thinks some more and does nothing. And that really is about it. While the idea shows promise, Buscemi's script never rises above the mediocre and characters never achieve the status of being overtly interestingly. Likewise, Buscemi's first stab at direction only has moments, with him apparently seeming reluctant to make use of the style of Di Cillo or Tarantino.
There are effective moments, a dime clutching tot watching an ice cream van plough gently into a garden wall after its driver has a heart attack, gives a stylish laugh, but at the end of the day perhaps a trip to the bar will be more fun.