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NR
| | 1 hr 44 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance, Indie

Claire, a mild-mannered parking attendant, lives in a small flat with her mother who is recovering from a recent stroke. In the opening sequence she patrols the LA streets and stumbles into an old flame, who introduces Claire to his wife and ill-behaved daughter. Reeling from the chance encounter, she steps out onto the street and is hit by a passing vehicle. Returning to work, she attracts the attention of another parking attendant, an extremely blunt and aggressive man named Jay whose home life consists mainly of entertaining himself using the services of a webcam porn site and phone service. Claire witnesses him fighting with her best friend, a neighbour working for a delivery service who parks on the curb to unload her consignment, but does not bring it up with either party. She develops a crush on Jay, but every time they settle down for a one-to-one conversation Jay eventually takes issue with some entirely innocuous comment Claire has made and storms off in disgust. Nonetheless, he keeps coming back for more. One night he comes to Claire and her mother's apartment for dinner; a few days later Claire prepares to join him at the office party, as her mother prepares mashed potato at the kitchen table. When Claire has finished dressing and goes to the kitchen to ask her mother's opinion of her outfit, she finds her mother slumped over - dead - in the bowl of mashed potato. In a state of shock, she simply picks up her coat and leaves for the party. She sits alone at the edge of the room, watching Jay dance with another woman, until finally Jay comes over and asks her in brutal terms what is the matter with her. She takes him home to show him the problem. She decides that rather than call an ambulance she'd rather have the situation dealt with by family, and calls her mother's vain and self-obsessed sister, who lives in a different part of the city. Her aunt tells her it is too far to come at that hour of the night, but if she wants to Claire can come over to her place to pick up a necklace her mother once left there. Jay insists on staying the night to 'take care' of Claire, promising to sleep on the couch. In the next scene he is lying in Claire's narrow bed with her, and starts to remove her clothes. After a few seconds of brutal thrusting, during which he talks to her as if she were the phone sex service he uses so frequently, he rolls over and falls asleep. From that point on, Jay and Claire maintain a tenuous sort of relationship, hung mainly on Claire's optimism and Jay's desire for sex and attention. At work, Jay is suspended for his aggressive behaviour with parking offenders, which has earned him an impressive complaints record. Later that evening, watching a crafts documentary on carpentry, he decides to make a 'love seat'. On his first day of suspension he turns up at Claire's apartment and offers to drive her out to her aunt's house to pick up her mother's necklace, lying to her over his disciplining at work. He drives her to the other side of the city, with her seated on the makeshift love seat in his parking attendant's vehicle. Her aunt insists that they all go out drinking; Jay and Claire end up in a hotel room. Jay gives Claire a tiny, pink PVC bikini and tells her she should lose weight, which Claire takes in stride, as she has previously with his other insinuations and outright insults. During her next shift, Claire is informed that she is being promoted for her exemplary behaviour. To celebrate she goes to Jay's apartment with take-out for lunch, and swiftly realises that he was visited by a prostitute immediately before her arrival. She leaves in disgust. Jay tries to win Claire back by going over to her apartment to apologise. Dressed in a more fashionable and confident style, she is outspokenly sceptical about his behaviour, but submits when he pulls her to the floor for another round of uncomfortable sex. When it is over, Jay expresses that he has burgeoning feelings of commitment to Claire, but she asks him to leave. At the end of the film, Claire once again walks her beat alone. Another vehicle nearly catches her at the site of her prior accident, but this time she escapes unscathed, and smiles in relief.

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Stars
Samantha Morton, Jason Patric, Teri Garr, Joe Camareno, Ron King
Director
Cecilia Miniucchi
Language
English
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