An opening interview with a pudgy skateboarder who tells his history with tattooing gives the false impression of an edgy documentary on an uncharted subculture, filmed in fast fades like a "stay off drugs" commercial. But Tattoo shifts gears and becomes essentially a big-screen sitcom.
Sara Frost (Megan Edwards), a prim third-grade teacher in Boise, Idaho, comes home to find her longtime fiance moving out, finally fed up with her micromanaging. The break-up coincides with a botched show-and-tell session in Sara's class, in which a student displays his dad's friend Virgil (Virgil Mignanelli), a tattoo artist. Sara initially reacts to the gorilla-sized biker guy with bourgeois disgust, though we know immediately that she'll be riding his hog before the ink dries.
A beauty-and-the-beast flirtation follows, with Sara uncovering Virgil's barely masked sensitive side, while he melts the schoolmarm's frigid exterior. Director Richard Bean co-wrote Tattoo with Mignanelli in mind, which may explain why the newcomer feels so comfortable in the offbeat role. As Sara, Edwards at best comes off like a low-rent Parker Posey, though her charm gets undermined by a choppy narrative flow.
Bean interrupts the often amusing comedy with a series of random interviews from "actual" tattoo bearers, vignettes that prove occasionally fascinating but don't mesh well with the conventional storyline. Bean does deserve props for his clever slam of the dancing Deadhead bear school of ink.
Like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, another low-budget romantic comedy, the film ditches its indie street cred for a grungy imitation of some Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan vehicle. Unlike its central metaphor, Tattoo: A Love Story fails to leave a lasting impression. Opens Sept. 26 at Madstone Theaters Parkside.
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
"In the movies' worst scene..." should be "movie's"
--freelance copy editor, available for hire
I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…