The performances here are theatrical all around, but in Green's case it works because ultimately he knows it's an act. The character, a struggling writer, is always "on," and, when he's not, there's a real sense of authenticity at the core. When he spends an entire night working on his novel "Disco Bloodbath" only to wake up to a stack of crisp, clean pages, one feels the pathos in his realization that blank pages equal a blank life. With Culkin, on the other hand, while there are moments just as revelatory--"He still loves me more than you," he says to the wife of his disco's landlord, who functions as a surrogate father figure. "I'm so fabulous."--the effect is not as arresting.
Also problematic is the structure of the script, which opens with Michael and James fighting for the camera's attention to tell their tale. One is left wondering, whose story is this, anyway? And, by the end, the story takes a surreal drug-induced turn when a life-size rat emerges from a hole in the wall to reveal to James the truth about the murder -- information he uses to finally write the book on which the film is based. Which begs the question, how did James figure out what really happened? No, seriously. The laws of nature have to apply at some point, right? Starring Macaulay Culkin, Seth Green, Chloe Sevigny, Natasha Lyonne, Dylan McDermott, Marilyn Manson, Wilson Cruz, Wilmer Valderrama and Diana Scarwid. Directed, written and produced by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. A ContentFilm release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 97 min