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Fix

Movie title: Fix (2008)
Grade: B- (3 stars)
Rated: R
Summation: Two documentary-makers follow a convicted drug addict around for a story before his confinement to rehab.
Spoilers ahead: No

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I hate junkies. I hate substance abusers. I hate anyone who is given to escapism when confronted with the hardships of life. I hate them because I’ve had the displeasure of knowing and living with one such person. I have a heroine-addicted pill-head for a sister. The pain that this struggle has put our family through is difficult to put into words.

Junkies lie. Their mannerisms lie, their expressions lie, even their actions lie. Whatever they are saying, it's almost certainly a lie. And half the time, it's just the drugs talking anyway. It's not easy to struggle with drug addiction, not for the user and not for the families of the user. I've seen it all, staying out for days, coming home with nosebleeds and white powder on faces, making pathetic excuses and peddling pathetic lies about where they've been. Yes, I've seen it all.

It is with these bitter thoughts in mind that I watched the docudrama-style based-on-a-true-story film Fix. It's about one Leo (Shawn Andrews), a convicted junkie who needs $5,000 for a fee and must be admitted to rehab by 8 pm the same day to avoid a 3-year prison term. The problem is, he's short on cash! The movie is one day's efforts of the druggie and the two documentary-makers to secure the funds and get him checked in on time.

Like most junkies, Leo doesn't suffer alone. He too has family that cares. Watching him throw away his life, Leo's brother Milo (Tao Ruspoli) steps in to help. As a journalist, he gets involved, he and his attractive co-worker Bella (Olivia Wilde).

But Leo is hard to get along with. His personality is, to say the least, unlikable. I wanted to hit the guy in the mouth with a brick in nearly every scene. And family connections screw things up, always assuming that if they will just bear with their beloved for a little longer, then the hard times will pass, and that magic moment of redemption will come. It’s a pipedream and a futile hope.

Out of a tireless-but-vain love, his brother is there to help—even to the extent of breaking the law. That's what they do. If reporters helping to steal expresso machines and cars and watching while a druggie hits up buddies at chop shops for under-the-table money doesn't impress you, then maybe the ghetto feeling of the film will. It was too much for me.

I don't want to see drug-dealing and run-down areas of town, put to the melody-less tunes of rap music that has the effect of glorifying a lifestyle of depravity. I've seen enough of that. It turns my stomach just to think about it, and that is what made large portions of the movie boring and uninteresting to me. Though I must say, the acting was great.

From the outset, you'd suspect, as I did, that this is yet another work influenced by the growing number of reality show admirers who love to glorify lifestyles of drug dependency and unaccountability. Think again! Check out the ending and be dazzled (and angered) in a surprising-but-not-so-surprising twist.

I saw a lot of sis in Leo, with the ability to be charming and likable at times, but who, at their cores, are callously selfish and indifferent to the feelings of others, blind to the pain that their self-destructive lifestyle brings on. Junkies the world over can never seem to see how their wretched decisions affect everyone else around them. That is sad. You want to be angry, but it doesn't help.

(JH)

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Director: Tao Ruspoli
Starring: Shawn Andrews “Leo,” Olivia Wilde “Bella,” Megalyn Echikunwoke “Carmen”, Tao Ruspoli “Milo,” and Dedee Pfeiffer “Daphne”
Genre: Drama

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