Apartment Troubles


Written and directed by co-stars Jenniifer Prediger and Jess Weixler, Trouble Dolls is your typical indie debut, with all the flaws and fresh ideas it implies. It is an inventive, amusing, talkative and self-absorbed work which looks like it was made on a shoestring budget. What differentiates it from most first features is the presence of some popular comedic figures in supporting roles, from Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) to Will Forte (Nebraska, Saturday Night Live) and Jeffrey Tambor (Archer).

The film centers on two New York friends and roommates: Nicole is a – somewhat crazy – artist (Weixler) while Olivia (Prediger) is a vulnerable actress. Not only are they struggling to make ends meet but they seem lost in their own world. On the eve of being evicted, they decide to go to Los Angeles for a short trip, which will result in helping them discover themselves and have a few goofy encounters.

From the journey of self-discovery to using a cat as a narrative thread – which is reminiscent of Inside Llewyn Davis – and comparing New York crazed artsy types to LA’s shallow showbiz characters, Trouble Dolls has a strong feel of déjà vu.  Despite this lack of originality, the film is however able to deliver some light fun, more particularly thanks to some goofy performances by its supporting cast. Mr. Forte offers a few good – improvised – lines while Ms. Mullally plays in autopilot her always entertaining emblematic debauched character. But it’s probably Mr. Tambor who has the strongest moments in a creepy but funny role as a landlord/lover.

Charming but anecdotic, Trouble Dolls is kind of a harmless work: it’s enjoyable but won’t leave a mark. It might however be more appealing to its target demographic, young independent women who should be able to identity with the two lead characters, which as the bio picture below ca attest, isn’t my case.

Director: Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler – Actors: Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler – Running Time: 1:17 – Year: 2014 – Country: USA

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Fred Thom

Fred Thom

Editor-in-Chief/Founder/Film Critic at Plume Noire
The founder and editor-in-chief of Plume Noire, Fred Thom covers film festivals and writes movie reviews. He was born in Marseilles, France and is now living in Los Angeles, California.