'Imperfections': Film Review

Imperfections- Still 1 -Level 33 Entertainment-Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of Level 33 Entertainment
Not a flawless gem, but fun.

A struggling actress gets more than she bargained for when she takes a job working as a diamond courier in David Singer's comic thriller.

A shaggy charm permeates David Singer’s comic thriller about an aspiring actress who gets more than she bargained for upon taking a job as a diamond courier. While Imperfections lives up to its name with its too clever by half plotline and failure to find a coherent tone, the indie film features enough enjoyable moments to overcome its flaws.

The story revolves around Cassidy (Virginia Kull of Boardwalk Empire), a Chicago-based actress whose career is stuck and who desperately need money to move to Hollywood. Despite some misgivings, she takes a job working for her mother’s (Marilu Henner) boyfriend (Ed Begley Jr.), who owns a small importing business in the city’s diamond district. Her job is to transport gems worth a fortune to various clients while dressed as unobtrusively as possible to avoid attention. Her employer’s son Alex (Ashton Holmes of Revenge) assures Cassidy that the job isn’t dangerous, and that if she does happen to get robbed the business is fully insured.

Sparks of both the romantic and larcenous variety soon strike as the pair conspires to stage a fake robbery and keep the diamonds, with Cassidy’s hapless former boyfriend Ray (Zach McGowan of The 100) as the patsy. But as anyone who’s seen a comic caper movie can guess, things don’t go exactly as planned, with one complication being that Cassidy finds herself once again drawn to her ex, who appears to have straightened up his act.

The ensuing complications involve a series of double-crosses, with several of the characters, including Alex’s best friend (Jerry MacKinnon of Empire), turning out to have their own agendas. The screenplay by director Singer and his brother Jonathan proves too convoluted for its own good, straining for clever surprises but more often than not feeling labored.

The film actually works best in its depiction of the characters’ relationships, from Cassidy’s warm rapport with her supportive mother to Alex’s with his no-nonsense employer father to Cassidy's with her former boyfriend. The dialogue is frequently fast and funny, such as when Cassidy’s mother solicitously asks her daughter, who’s been injured in a robbery and is in pain at the hospital, “Want me to go out there and do the Shirley MacLaine?”

The performances are another plus, with Kull highly appealing as the protagonist who turns out to have more moxie than we might have suspected, McGowan consistently amusing as the colorfully eccentric Ray and Begley Jr. and Henner providing the sort of terrific supporting work honed by decades of experience.  

Featuring solid technical elements and benefiting from its extensive use of atmospheric Chicago locations, Imperfections marks an impressive debut effort from its tyro director.

Production company: Imperfections
Distributor: Level 33 Entertainment
Cast: Virginia Kull, Ashton Holmes, Zach McGowan, Jerry MacKinnon, David Pasquesi, Chelcie Ross, Marilu Henner, Ed Begley Jr.
Director-composer: David Singer
Screenwriters: David Singer, Jonathan Singer
Producers: Christina Varotsis, David Singer, Jonathan Singer
Director of photography: Andrew Wehde
Production designer: Adri Siriwatt
Costume designer: Laura McAllister
Casting: Erica Daniels

106 minutes