“The truth is, you can do anything to anyone and get away with it.”
A brutal, incisive, and hilarious dark comedy about class and appearance wrapped around a simple genre premise. (Unfortunately) based on a true story, Stuck tells the story of an assisted living nurse named Brandi who runs into a recently homeless man with her car. The man becomes stuck in her windshield, but, rather than get help, she simply drives him into her garage and attempts to get on with her life. His desperate attempts to escape foil her plans.
What makes Stuck so utterly fantastic is the way it complicates what could be a simple case of human indifference into something much more rewarding. Brandi (played by Mena Suvari), despite her job and house, isn’t that far above the homeless man in the social spectrum, and part of what drives her is keeping what little stratification there is between them alive. Her job is shitty, her house is shitty, her life is generally a bit shitty – but she refuses to let herself feel shitty. Everyone in this film needs to hold onto some form of dignity, needs to feel better than someone else. From Brandi herself to her posturing drug dealing boyfriend to his naked bleeding mistress (sitting in an apartment complex hallway, having been discovered, beaten to hell, and tossed out by Brandi, yells to a concerned tenant, “the hell you looking at?!”), the thing that matters most to these people is class, in all forms.
Well, except to the homeless man (played by Stephen Rea), because – in his eyes – he’s got nowhere left to descend. He wants survival – maybe even a bit of kindness to remind himself such a thing exists – and he will pull his bleeding gut through glass to get it.
All of this comes together in an extremely gnarly but emotionally powerful conclusion, full of blood and fire and all the things that a good exploitation film make.