Adapting real life stories for the big screen is a dangerous proposition. Play too fast and loose with the truth and you stand accused of insensitivity and arrogance; remain too slavish to the facts and you might end up with a deadly dull drama. Inspired by a hit and run automobile accident with a bizarre twist, director Stuart Gordon and screenwriter John Strysik walk this tightrope with finesse, concocting an original, deadly serious, blackly-comic thriller.
Stuck begins by following the basic outline of what happened in Fort Worth, Texas, in the fall of 2001, which I've written about before. In short: a nurse, high on drugs, smashes into a homeless man, who lodges in her car's windshield. She drives home, parks in her garage, and goes to bed, leaving the man bleeding -- and stuck. The film quickly veers away from the facts of the case, though, transforming into a deeply-felt meditation on personal accountability in an age of irresponsibility. It grows more and more outrageous, nearly fishtailing out of control, before righting itself and delivering a walloping conclusion.
Mena Suvari stars as the out of control caregiver, here renamed Brandi, and Stephen Rea is her moral counterweight as the down on his luck Tom. For her part, Brandi isn't so much immoral or amoral as she is incredibly self-centered.