Unlovable (Review)


Written by Charlene deGuzman, Sarah Adina Smith, and Mark Duplass
Directed by Suzi Yoonessi

We’re back again with the second of the three 2018 CAAMfest screenings, this time we’re covering Unlovable, another film that’s written by the lead actress and filled with plenty of raw emotions on screen.

Charlene deGuzman is Joy, who seems like a nice young girl except for the part where she’s trying to kill herself during the opening as her life is a mess. She fails, thank goodness (it’s not one of those movies, where a dead actress is narrating everything!), but we learn that she suffers from sex and love addiction. For those not too familiar with these things, it seems like something that would be very hot, but in reality it is people compulsively going on binges with whoever is available, even if they are the most unappealing people you can imagine. Joy generally stops by the bar, gets beyond wasted, and soon is all over whoever she can get her hands on. That’s a problem because she’s in a relationship and her binges are also making it hard for her to get to work on time.

After the latest round causes her to get dumped and thrown out by her boyfriend, she goes to a 12 step program (it is stated that she’s tried this several times before but it has never stuck) She strikes up a friendship with a woman named Maddie (Melissa Leo), but she refuses to be her sponsor. Only after another binge where Joy wakes up in the morning after a bachelor party where the polaroids reveal quite a lot went on with quite a few people (and one of them gives her a wad of cash), Maddie agrees to sponsor her and put her up in her grandmother’s shed. She must completely detox which means no drinking, sex, texting, sexting, masturbating, or generally any physical contact for 30 days. That proves to be a lot harder than it sounds for poor Joy.
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