IIf you ever had the idea that there was something bohemian, glamorous or Bukowskian to drink in a Las Vegas barâ¦ then this movie will woo you right away. It’s docu-realistic fiction about a seedy place called The Roaring 20s, in Las Vegas, which is about to shut down for good. (The films were actually shot at a location called The Roaring Twenties in New Orleans, which is always open for business, but maybe there is something about desolation and melancholy about a bar that makes every closing hour feel like the last closing hour of all time. ) The filmmakers were given the barflies, with a professional actor in the mix, to improvise on a long day’s travel overnight and into the next day, all while really drinking and seemingly dropping real acid. It’s not as spectacular as they might have expected; it only leads to bellicose close combat.
The result is heartbreaking at times and at times hilarious. A sorry guy announces, âI’m proud that I didn’t become an alcoholic until after I failed. He also explains something about his backstory: âI slept too long one morning and the background fell out of the making. Meanwhile, alcohol and boastful, insane arguments continue, on the Michael Jackson soundtrack, Patsy Cline and The Gambler by Kenny Rogers (twice). A woman beyond drunkenness called Pam, sitting at the bar, dreadfully pulls her top up and proudly announces, âLook! Sixty-year-old boobs! The man next to her gallantly remarks that they are “taller than some men’s sack of nuts” – to which she replies, “I once divorced a man because his sack of nuts hung lower than his cock. ” If only TS Eliot could have gotten his “sweet ladies” from The Waste Land commercials to say something as resonant as this.
It’s a fascinating slice of Americana that reminded me of 1970s cinema, like John Huston’s Fat City. I half-expected young Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges to go for a few whiskeys.