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He gambles away his life and money on football. She's drinking herself to death. His roommate is a repressed gay guy. Isn't it great to be 25?


Max (Jason London) and Brigette (Charlie Spradling) have a bet. She thinks he can't go one month without betting; he thinks she can't lay off the bottle for that long. And they're both right, in this darkly funny love story of self-destructive yet likeable young adults trying to wend their way out of a vicious circle.


London ("Dazed & Confused," "The Rage: Carrie 2") and Spradling are real-life husband and wife, and their onscreen chemistry probably owes much to that fact; ditto for their love scene, which is far more intimate and eye-rousing than anything Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman did in "Eyes Wide Shut." There's a good supporting cast, too, including Margaret Cho, who manages not to ruin any of the scenes she's in.


Gil Cates Jr., cousin of actress Phoebe Cates, has created sort of an updated, younger-set version of "Barfly" (minus the cartoony Bukowski caricature) for his feature-film debut. Let's face it, this kind of subject matter often spells box office suicide, but since this is a low-budget, independent-minded affair, Cates doesn't have to stick to standard conventions such as happy endings and the easy way out. "Spent" isn't always comfortable to watch, but it's encouraging to see the characters come to terms with their own (and each other's) flaws.

The Bottom Line

It ain't always pretty, but neither is life. And for a movie shot in 18 days, it's time well spent.


Starring Jason London, Charlie Spradling, Phill Lewis, James Parks, Rain Phoenix and Margaret Cho.

Written and directed by Gil Cates Jr. Produced by Rana Joy Glickman. Released by Regent Entertainment.