The level of talent at the Las Vegas Film Festival continues to astound me. I was fortunate enough to catch French Dirty, written by brothers Wade Allain Marcus and Jesse Allain Marcus. Wade excels in his starring role as Vincent, a man who has until the end of the day to come to terms with a terrible mistake which he fears will cost him his best friend and the woman he desires.

Although typical SPOILER ALERTS apply here, the movie’s plot is laid bare in the opening sequences. The previous evening finds Vincent in the arms of Roma, played by Melina Lizette. The two have known each other for months, and their steadily growing feelings for each other have finally culminated in a night of passion. The only problem is that Roma is actually the girlfriend of Vincent’s best friend Steve (Arjun Gupta). Vincent decides to set the matter straight by asking Steve to meet him at their favorite bar that evening so he can come clean. The movie follows Vincent throughout his day as he prepares for his meeting with Steve and his conversation with Roma. While he walks the streets reflecting, he has a chance encounter with an intriguing French girl (played by Elsa Biedermann). Of course these two develop an immediate chemistry, however we don’t know whether we approve of this pairing based on what we have learned so far about Vincent. Biedermann provides some light comic relief in a strong supporting role, and her brief scenes provide an excellent “what if?” scenario to ponder as you leave the theater.

Wade Allain Marcus and Jesse Allain Marcus discuss French Dirty. (photo by Laura Christian)

At a Q & A session after the film, Wade Allain Marcus was asked to describe the film in one sentence, replying (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it was basically a movie about a guy who sleeps with his best friend’s girlfriend then walks around all day thinking about it. It was an honest and accurate summary of the film, however one should not mistake an oversimplified plot description for a simple movie. Indeed the movie featured a bold narrative form which perfectly encapsulates the thought process of an individual attempting to process the past in order to prepare for the future. While I am typically not a fan of nonlinear plots I thought French Dirty took a bold approach, because our memories likewise do not work in a chronological fashion. In this respect French Dirty, by means of flashbacks set against a looming deadline, built up tension while simultaneously exploring a man’s memories. Think of a modern love story version of High Noon featuring flashback sequences. If this seems a bit much, then go back to Wade Allain Marcus’s description and don’t overthink the movie! Overall I really enjoyed it, and have to give credit to Wade Allain Marcus and Arjun Gupta for their “buddy chemistry”. Watching this movie I truly felt like these two had been best friends for a lifetime. Even when their buddy antics got a bit silly at times (Melina Lizette joins in on the fun, too), the levity in the flashback scenes was necessary in order to set up the inevitable conflict between the friends. Even though the ride was a little loose and silly at times, when it was finally over I appreciated it and wished the characters could ride again.

I also caught a portion of Hollywood by writer/director Davidson Cole, featuring a strong performance by Grainger Hines.

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The after party at Atomic Liquors had an exclusive, “red-carpet” feel, complete with promotional skylights and an actual red carpet leading into the spacious outside area. The party was hosted by AVD Studios, and food was provided by Raisin Canes. The the place was packed and DJ TFares provided music for the crowd. Overall it was a great time. I keep seeing familiar faces and have been happy to meet many new people this week. I look forward to seeing all of you again today!