Lloyd Meadows

Created by Jack Perez and James McManus

"We're all losers, man."

--Lloyd ofers us his worldview

Stuck in an unfulfilling existence and yearning for some excitement, LLYOD MEADOWS of Los Angeles decides to take charge of his life.

The prompt? The sudden death of an old friend.

His solution: Trade in his ho-hum job as a waiter for that of a private investigator.

Generally, that should work for me.

And this no-budget quirkfest, laced as it is with a dark, brooding sense of despair, may work for you. No big shockers, no car chases, no real action scenes of any kind, really -- there isn't even a gun in it.

It's just a quiet, slow burn character study that wants to screw itself deeper and deeper into your brain.

Except the film goes from low key to pretentious in about sixy seconds. Lloyd, it turns out, is a third rate private eye with no real instinct for the job, a creepy little nightcrawler doing domestics who becomes inexplicably obsesssed with the relationship between Jane Danforth and her husband Peter, a social worker who seems to be a genuinely nice guy.

Jane suspects Peter is cheating on her, however, and hires Lloyd, whose big plan is to go undercover as a bum who just wants to talk to Peter every night for a week or so, trading all kinds of sophomoric philosophical bilge about love, guilt, empathy, loneliness, the meaning of it all and other intangibles (the film's full of them). Lloyd's idea, I guess, is to bore a confession out of Peter.

There are a few plot twists (Lloyd, naturally, falls in love with Jane, and tries to manipulate the relationship), but neither the script, the direction or the cast are quite up to it, and it all just peters (sorry) out. At one point, Jane even blurts out, "Is there a point to all this?"

Sadly, the answer is "No."

FILM

  • THE BIG EMPTY.. Buy the DVD.
    (1997)
    1 hour, 36 minutes
    Story by James McManus
    Screenplay by Jack Perez and James McManus
    Directed by Jack Perez
    Starring James McManus as LLOYD MEADOWS
    Also starring Ellen Goldwasser, Anna Scott, H.M. Wynant, Lee Holmes

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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