Fresno, California is not known as a particularly inviting town, but neither is the bleak, beige-covered hotel we find our two protagonists working in. Clad in maroon scrubs, Martha shows her older sister, Shannon, the ropes at the Fresno Suites hotel as she trains her to be a maid.
Registered sex offender, buzz kill, and sex addict—these are just some of the terms that describe Shannon. Though as the first 20 minutes of this film unfold, another can be tacked on to the list: murderer. Martha comes to Shannon’s rescue when she is assaulted by a hotel guest, but her heroism is short-lived when soon after she becomes an accomplice to her sister’s accidental crime.
From this point on, all bleakness that was present before, in this reviewer’s opinion, is stripped away as the duo, accompanied by the corpse of a dead man, bounces from one life-altering situation to the next—each increasingly more illegal and outlandish—all in the hopes of putting this nightmare behind them.
Revry showcases LGBTQ+ love by embracing queer characters
Early on we learn about Martha’s dating struggles—namely with Alicia, the woman who goes to her gym but won’t return her calls. Despite the weight of the plot, the film manages to weave in lightheartedness with the nonchalant addition of queer characters and plenty of comedic quips—especially between the sisters, with lines such as, “You killed an Olympian.”
Another important aspect of the film is it’s overall message, in this viewer’s opinion. We learn from the characters that whether we accidentally relapse, accidentally injure those we love, or, in extreme cases, accidentally murder someone, “Everyone deserves their dignity. We’ve all done things we’re not proud of.”
Between pet funeral homes, bar mitzvahs, and lesbian softball teams ADDICTED TO FRESNO is 85 minutes of film that will bring just about anybody joy and a little bit of a thrill. Additionally, if you find yourself partial to stories with LGBTQ+ characters, look no further than this whirlwind of crime, humor, and human experience.
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Judy Greer (Shannon Jackson)
Natasha Lyonne (Martha Jackson)
Aubrey Plaza (Kelly)
Ron Livingston (Edwin)
Allison Tolman (Ruby)
Fred Armisen (Gerald)
Clea DuVall (Regina)
Molly Shannon (Margaret)
Jon Daly (Boris)
Jessica St. Clair (Kristen)
Malcolm Barrett (Eric)
Michael Hitchcock (David)
Kumail Nanjiani (Damon)
Alan Mandell (Arthur Lipka)
Jamie Babbit, Director
Andrea Sperling, Producer
Charlese Antoinette Jones, Costume Designer
Chris Redondo, Casting
Dan Cogan, Executive Producer
Derek Nguyen, Associate Producer
Doug Turner, First Assistant Director
Erika Toth, Art Director
Gaelle Cohen, Stunts Coordinator
Geralyn White Dreyfous, Executive Producer
Jeffrey Waldron, Cinematographer
Julie Parker Benello, Executive Producer
Karey Dornetto, Screenwriter
Mynette Louie, Executive Producer
Nancie Rooney, Department Head Makeup
Nathan Matthew David, Composer (Music Score)
Nick Horbaczewski, Executive Producer
Patty West, Executive Producer
Paul Hollman, Re-Recording Mixer
Richard Hicks, Casting
Stephanie Meurer, Producer
Stephenie Galvan, Second Assistant Director
Suzanne Spangler, Editor
Theresa Guleserian, Production Designer
Tracy Shao, Associate Producer
Una Jackman, Co-producer
Wendy Ettinger, Executive Producer
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For more information you can visit the Revry website.
Images courtesy of Revry
About the Author: Margaret Smith ( Photo by Mike Rundle )
Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based, multi-genre writer and editor. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, a lover of all-things theater, and a crossword puzzle enthusiast. More of their work can be found on the Better Magazine website.