Addicted to Fresno tells the story of two co-dependent sisters Martha (Natasha Lyonne) and Shannon (Judy Greer). Natasha is a lesbian, who is the more stable and responsible of the two and feels she always has to protect her sister and subjugates her own happiness. She helps out this time by getting Shannon a job after she is once again out of a rehab program for her sexual addiction.
This is the kind of film that takes a bit too much time to start going where it is predestined to, the lack all but the occasional minor surprise is a detriment to the film as well. It doesn’t offer enough modulation, and dimension for the characters until it’s too late to be salvaged. It thankfully doesn’t progress in to be the full-on trainwreck that the first act promises but its second and third act improvements do not ultimately salvage it but just make it tolerable.
The film does offer some laughs, and eventually takes a long hard look at these characters, it shows they do love one another and can examine their own and each other’s lives that pulls it from the realm of asshole cinema that it seems like its going to dwell in a strive for early on.
The performances bother from the leads; Natasha Lyonne who I have not seen enough of since her great debut in Everyone Says I Love You, is charming and relatable; Judy Greer who has recently garnered attention for her prodigious talents being under-utilized in blockbusters while having more screen time here seems to be an equally thankless position.
The standouts here in terms of memorable performances and comedic moments are actually the supporting players. Like Aubrey Plaza, as Martha’s love interest; Clea DuVall, who I also do not see enough of; Fred Armisen and Alison Tolman deliver with the greatest frequency and highest success; last but not least Ron Livingston.
All the players no matter how well they did are not well served by the script that feels like it could’ve used some polishing off, and the edit which could’ve truncated the tale so it’d move a bit better, especially at the denouement.
There’s slapstick potential that’s squandered in this film and that’s regrettable. The film in its patchwork way may find a cult of fans through Netflix or cable airings but will go down as ultimately forgettable and lamentable in my book.