You know those films that are about likable scoundrels and the women who love them despite their scoundrel ways even though they would probably be much better off with a shoe salesman or something? That’s Loosies in a nutshell.
Loosies is written and produced by Peter Facinelli, who also stars as Bobby. Facinelli is best known for his roles in the Twilight movies, but anybody who is a fan of those films probably shouldn’t hunt down this movie for Facinelli’s participation since it has nothing in common with the vampire series. Bobby is a New York City pickpocket, who poses as a respectable stockbroker for pretty much everyone except his fence Jax (Vincent Gallo), including his mother (Marianne Leone), who he still lives with. Michael Madsen is a police detective whose badge Bobby swiped and has, as a result, made it his mission to arrest Bobby, which is a role that Madsen could have played in his sleep (and possibly did — he doesn’t do much with his limited screentime). That plot set-up would be interesting enough basis for a movie, but there’s also a romance plot, too. With Masden on his trail, Bobby’s freewheeling ways began to come to an end when he runs into Lucy (Jamie Alexander), a bartender who had a one-night stand with him and is three months pregnant as a result. Between the cops, Lucy, and Jax, Bobby has a lot of problems catching up to him, with Bobby’s pickpocketing “career” becoming riskier by the minute.
Facinelli, however, is too likable for the role, and I’m ultimately a bit conflicted about his character, since Bobby is essentially a jerk (I mean, he is a pickpocket — that’s pretty low) but is presented as a fairly likable guy. It’s confusing why Lucy sticks with him and gives him so many chances when he more or less keeps fanning the flames of his awful life (her explanation of him having “kind eyes” is just a silly attempt to justify her patience). Yes, she is pregnant with his child, but it seems farfetched that she stays by his side, especially when he has her running from perhaps the most slow-footed NYPD officers in film history. So Bobby isn’t that easy to root for even though Facinelli is a likable guy and the movie makes it clear that Bobby is a pickpocket out of necessity, not because he necessarily wants to be one. But just because I know I’m supposed to root for a particular character isn’t enough to make me actually do it. Gallo, as Bobby’s fence, might have been a better choice for the lead since he can play an oily, conflicted character far better.
No spoilers, but the logic of the film’s conclusion is a bit hard to swallow, especially since it doesn’t seem like the police would stop harassing Bobby when he is suspected for dozens of thefts in New York. But even scoundrels need a happily ever after, I guess. The preceding twist though was very clever, and it made me wonder why the rest of the movie couldn’t be as clever, too.
I did like the film’s opening montage, which shows Bobby traveling all over the city as he snatches wallets and cell phones. It establishes his character right away and also has some spectacular views of Manhattan. Director Michael Corrente (Brooklyn Rules, A Shot at Glory) has done the best work of the film right here, though.
Film Review: Loosies isn’t a bad movie, but there’s nothing here that screams “must see” unless you really like Peter Facinelli (4/10)
DVD Review: You get the trailer. Yippie. (1/10)
Loosies is available on DVD on March 13 from IFC Films.