STUCK: Solid Cast Real Female Characters
Heather Matarazzo is a pushy, pot-smoking, ex with self-destructive tendencies in Stuck named Darby. After being caught with pills in her purse – stolen for noble reasons – she is assigned to house arrest in lieu of a jail sentence. Joel McHale makes a surprise appearance as the judge who sentences her. Darby moves back in with her ex, Mo, played by Amir Talai.
In the eight months since they’ve been apart, he now has a fiancée he loves who is a “walking trophy”. Darby can’t help but try to interfere in this relationship before realizing that he is happy with Chloe (Heather Turman). In addition to Kate Flannery as the peeping-Tom neighbor who provides comic relief – and some awkwardness – we also see brief appearances by Chris Redd and Felicia Day. Jillian Armenante, the director and producer of Stuck, also stars as the parole officer who finds herself attracted to Darby, Chloe, and Darby’s legal rep Sunny (Kirsten Vangsness) at various points in the film.
I appreciate films where women are gross such as Bridesmaidsand Trainwreck. Stuck finds its home with this small group: Darby can pee standing up and it’s shown more than once, she holds a dog while it urinates on her hands and onto the floor, and she craps her pants in a full-set of armor (unintentional).
Darby is also shameless about her body and uses it to seduce her ex. It doesn’t work but it does challenge Chloe to up her game: she chooses to do so by mimicking her attempt and suggests that if Darby was comfortable doing so with her figure, then she has no reason not to be with hers. It’s an insult that Darby brushes off as she’s far more focused at the attempt to win Mo back.
Sunny, her legal rep, is also true to herself. She wears form-fitting tight clothes that makes her feel good. When the judge insults her appearance and says her breast exposure is offensive, she looks uncomfortable but does not try to cover up. Sunny may be a little timid at times but she is trying to be good representation for Darby.
I have not seen Heather Matarazzo in anything since The Princess Diaries and I’m now realizing I missed her! Matarazzois believably real in Stuck: the way she copes, struggles, grows, and even cries. She does an excellent job at being Darby.
Vivian Bang as Mi-Yung provides comedy as well. She plays Mo’s house-cleaner and utilizes an accent that she describes as “changing all the time” that plays into racial – and entertainment – stereotypes. When it is revealed to Mo that Mi-Yung has a standard American accent he is perplexed.
Avery Pearson as Kyle makes my heart grow a size. He is so pure and sweet. Kyle is a non-judgmental and simplistically cheerful delivery person who has delivered Darby a pizza, a few joints, and even dildos. It’s clear when Kyle has feelings for Darby but he doesn’t step over any boundaries and just lets her be. It’s refreshing when men just let women be!
I also can’t forget about Harris (Matthew Nouriel) who is Darby’s best friend and former co-worker. Like a true friend, he keeps things real with her. She tells him there must be a reason why she’s at her ex’s home and he replies, “Honey, of course there is a reason. It’s called crime.” Harris also provides the mental kick-in-the-pants that she needs to move onward and upward.
Stuck is a fun comedy about a woman trying to do good but getting side-tracked by her habits and her past. However, the poster for Stuck is awful. It’s Darby laying on the grass with a joint in her hand and the ankle monitor on. It’s an awkward pose for a person who is supposed to be relaxing but it also looks like her face was photoshopped. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but the poster alone made me wonder if this would be a good movie.
The trailer essentially sums up the whole movie in two minutes leaving little to the imagination but works to represent the film’s comedy and story – as a trailer should. The title of the film is also a challenge for promotion. When you search “Stuck” and even “Stuck movie” online, your search results include a 2007 thriller and a 2017 musical with the same title – this film doesn’t even come up (at least, not the first few pages). It’s not easy to find unless you know the cast!