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“‘It’s not my fault, and I don’t care anyway’. Say it with me!”
Patrick Spencer (Alan Thicke) is a self-help guru, and a very rich and successful one at that, advocating a philosophy of “Me First” selfishness which, in the Twitter/Selfie age, would no doubt go down a storm. His daughter Diana (relative newcomer Leah Doz) is a recovering drug addict presently receiving treatment in therapy for sex addiction. Brian Calhoun (Quinton Aaron, best known as “Big” Mike Oher from the Oscar-winning The Blind Side) – also known as “Giant Man” – is a heroin addict, indebted to local dealer Johnny “Three-Fingers” Abedayo (former track and field star Jesse Lipscombe). When Johnny enlists Giant Man and the rest of his crew to “boost” Diana (i.e. kidnap her and hold her for a sizeable ransom), will Patrick pay ten million dollars to retrieve his daughter safe and sound, or will he take the opportunity to add gravitas his “It’s not my fault, and I don’t care anyway” credo by holding fast to its values? Can Giant Man stand by to watch Diana suffer? And how will Diana feel if daddy doesn’t pony up the readies?
It’s Not My Fault And I Don’t Care Anyway is written/directed by Chris Craddock, based on his own one-man play Public Speaking. It’s also one of the last films to feature the late Alan Thicke, best known for his role as patriarch Dr. Jason Seaver in the sitcom Growing Pains – one of the most watched shows in America in the late eighties – and also of course as the father of Robin Thicke of Blurred Lines fame. Mr. Thicke collapsed and died in December last year whilst playing hockey with his son Carter (who also appears in a brief cameo).
Let’s get the gripes out of the way first: This movie has a tendency to struggle in finding its tone. An early scene in which a sex addict describes a gang of bikers coming all over her is followed briskly by another in which a principal character’s father is knifed to death. It’s Not My Fault And I Don’t Care Anyway presents as a comedy/drama, yes, but it’s really mostly a drama which occasionally flings out a guffaw or two. It doesn’t straddle that line particularly elegantly, and it’s not helped in this regard by that clunky title either, which all but screams “BRITISH FARCE!”. I mean, there are certainly farcical elements within the plot, but it sells the picture a little short to present it as such.
Look past this, however, and the movie’s issues with comedic timing are more than offset by an intriguing story told in episodic flashback, and some fine performances indeed; from Alan Thicke, from Leah Doz, from Jesse Lipscombe and particularly from the incredibly likeable Quinton Aaron. I initially found him to be a strange casting choice as a heroin addict; I have a limited experience of heroin addicts and all of the addicts I know fit the gaunt, hollow-eyed stereotype, and upon first seeing that Brian was being played by the 6’8″, 450lb Mr. Aaron, I literally had to Google “Are heroin addicts always skinny” in order to find that, no, of course they’re not.
It’s Not My Fault And I Don’t Care Anyway is a flawed piece, but persistence will reward the viewer with a movie which hits its targets more often than it misses. It’s a quirky little crime drama, and it’s well worth a look.
It’s Not My Fault And I Don’t Care Anyway is released March 14th.
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