Written by: Tera Kirk
Directed by: Jimmy Weber
Cast: Meggie Maddock, Ali Francis, Jeremy Make, Maru Garcia, Dakota Pike
Nothing is going right for Novella McClure (Meggie Maddock). Sure, she’s blonde, thin, and beautiful–excellent qualities for an actress to have–but she’s also on the wrong side of 29 and hasn’t had a part in three years. She still goes to lots of auditions, though–where she frequently runs into Tracy, a younger, obnoxious girl who seems to get all the roles. (Maybe, Novella thinks, because she sleeps with the producers.) All this stress triggers Novella to eat her own flesh.
Eat, the first full-length film from Pretty People Pictures, isn’t exactly a profound treatise on the price of fame and beauty. Still, Novella is easy to sympathize with, especially given the present economy. I was especially drawn to Ali Francis as Novella’s good friend Candice; she has a strong presence that fits Candice’s protective, intimidating personality. And Novella’s landlady Eesha (Maru Garcia) steals every scene she’s in…and not just because of her cute dog, Jethro. Eesha genuinely cares about Novella’s financial and medical difficulties and really doesn’t want to throw her out into the street.
But the real star is the special effects team. Watching Novella rip her own veins out with her teeth turned my stomach; even her blood’s brightness fits with the more conventionally cheerful colors: the pink of Novella’s outfit, the purple walls of the club she and Candice go to. It’s as if everything is candy-coated, appetizing in some strange way.
Yet, Eat’s writing can’t hold a candle to its visuals. The dialogue isn’t very tight, and the last 15 minutes bombards the audience with twists at a breakneck pace that’s at odds with the slower build. While not quite a cinematic feast, the taste Eat gives of Pretty People Pictures leaves me wanting to see more from them.