Many American non-achievers, zonked by dreams of unattainable affluence and adventure, could probably relate to the had-it-up-to-here despair expressed in Loose Ends, low budget art film written, directed and produced by the husband-wife team of David Burton Morris and Victoria Wozniak. But while working-class frustration of the three principals is well delineated, the picture fails to develop much identification with, or empathy for, the trapped participants.
Garage mechanics Billy Regis (Chris Mulkey) and Eddie Hassit (John Jenkins) are beer-guzzling, pool-shooting buddies, belabored by their humdrum existence. Divorcee Regis, a happy-go-lucky type, wants to break out of the mold and take his pal with him. Hassit feels locked into his own situation with a wife he ignores, a four-year-old son and a baby on the way. Following a family blowup, Hassit walks out and the joyless odd couple set out in Regis’ clunker for another city and a new life.
Mulkey gives a good performance as the goof-off who is rebellious over his low status and haunted by loneliness. Jenkins seems too effete for his one-of-the-boys role, and Linda Jenkins as the wife is overly bland even for a part that calls for blandness.
B&W photography and visual effects of the 16mm film are okay, but sound and mixing are badly flawed with some of the dialog drowned out by distorted background noise.