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Willie and Me movie review & film summary (2024)


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by Xtreme HD IPTV

Everything about the backstory of Hassmann’s feature is inspiring, especially to independent filmmakers who commit one hundred percent to their vision, whatever it may be, and carry it inside of them the way the heroine carries around a Willie Nelson album the way kids carry around their favorite lovey. Unfortunately, the result is one of those films that doesn’t really work on any level. Even for a picaresque plot comprised of incidents and moments. It’s a flat and disjointed work that lurches forward and stops and lurches forward again throughout its brief running time—a labor of love that doesn’t deliver.

The over-reaching production values are characterized by unconvincing green-screen work, which might possibly have been converted from a liability to an asset if the movie had leaned into the chintziness and gone for something more “storybook.” The supporting players (including the late Peter Bogdanovich as an alcoholic manager at the hotel where Greta stays, and Blaine Grey as Duke, a good-hearted Elvis impersonator who takes a fancy to her) are cartoony, cardboard cutout, indie-movie Americana “types,” defined by one or two major traits. The humor seems to want to be kooky-harmless and bitingly satirical at the same time, impulses that cancel each other out. 

It might have worked in spite of itself if Hassmann’s performance were dynamic enough to gather it all up  and unify it through sheer originality and energy. But while she’s an attractive, likable, sympathetic lead, there’s no discernible comic point-of-view to her performance, and her physical resemblance to Madeline Kahn circa-1970s doesn’t do her any favors. You may find yourself imagining what a brilliant, constantly surprising performer like Kahn, or a modern equivalent like Kristin Wiig, or an unknown who was more of a dynamo, might have done. 

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by Xtreme HD IPTV

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