We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Everybody in Los Angeles seems obsessed with making it. Out there in the endless neighborhoods between Malibu and the desert, grim young men pump iron and divorced moms take acting classes and taxi drivers labor all night over their screenplays. Every year, the film schools give diplomas to more future movie directors than there are movies for them to direct.
Everyone seems convinced that someday they'll be rich and famous, after they get the right agent, after they get Warren Beatty to read their script, after they're discovered on a game show and get a role in a soap opera. And who can blame them? Look at some of the people who have made it.
"Echo Park" takes place in one of those interchangable neighborhoods off the freeways, where every apartment building contains a microcosm of "The Gong Show." It's about a young mother (Susan Dey) who dreams of being an actress, and a muscular young immigrant from Austria (Michael Bowen) who dreams of being the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. They live in adjacent apartments in a rooming house, and into their lives one day comes an earnest young pizza delivery man (Thomas Hulce), who falls in love with Dey at first sight.
The movie is told in a series of vignettes, all firmly grounded in the proposition that everybody in Los Angeles is a little crazy - and that being crazy is OK, because otherwise how can people see that you're an individual? Hulce drives around in a garish delivery truck that's decorated with a large pizza slice with electric pepperoni. He's one of the most normal people in the movie.