Only in America

If only for its uber-ordinary Texas settings and pseudo-verite affectations, this ambitious Amerindie invites comparison to Richard Linklater's formative Slacker--albeit with only a fraction of that film's memorable character sketches. Where Linklater managed to cast a quirky spectrum of cultural viewpoints through a fluid day-in-the-American-life, Dallas filmmakers Rusty Martin and Susan Kirr erect a more complicated film-within-a-film-within-a-film structure for their pointed commentary on the drug war, the suburban elite, bad TV, and other American oddities. This amounts to astute, plain-faced satire of mostly easy targets--after all, what's not funny about televangelists and country-club luncheons? The directors' instincts and good intentions are in place, but the triple-plotline dilutes the potency of such characters as a comically twisted Christian mom named Reba Jones (Helen Fratena), and John Wayne (Larry Flynn), a TV-antenna repairman wrongly implicated in a trailer-park sex scandal. Bell Auditorium, Wednesday, April 16 at 9 p.m.

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