4.5/10
248
11 user 2 critic

Life in the Fast Lane (1998)

There's No Fish Food in Heaven (original title)
R | | Comedy | 18 October 1998 (USA)
Trailer
1:04 | Trailer

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Black comedy about an obsessive street graffiti artist, who falls obsessively in love with a frustrated artist he meets. Unfortunately, rather than trying to meet with her in a conventional... See full summary »

Director:

Eleanor Gaver

Writer:

Eleanor Gaver (as Eleanor E. Gaver)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fairuza Balk ... Mona
Noah Taylor ... Jeff
Téa Leoni ... Landeene
Patrick Dempsey ... The Stranger
Debi Mazar ... Rosie
Jeffrey Jones ... Minister Pete
James Le Gros ... D.J. (as James LeGros)
Udo Kier ... Rocky
Caroline Aaron ... Venessa
K. Todd Freeman ... Stan / Suzie
Richard Gayler Richard Gayler ... Desk Sergeant
Tracy Vilar ... Shirley
Madena Bennett Madena Bennett ... Bouncer
Bill Cusack ... Cop #1 (as Billy Cusack)
Scott Burkholder ... Cop #2
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Storyline

Black comedy about an obsessive street graffiti artist, who falls obsessively in love with a frustrated artist he meets. Unfortunately, rather than trying to meet with her in a conventional way, he decides to mail himself to her with the help of a pet shop owner. Unfortunately, when he arrives, she is with another man, who immediately makes love to her against the box. Then when they decide to open the box, they stab scissors into the box, killing the man. The action then follows that the spirit of the graffiti artist can now communicate only with the artist and, fearfully, she decides she has to get rid of the body. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language, violence and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Life in the Fast Lane See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[While Mona is having sex with The Stranger behind the church]
Minister Pete: That's the express train to hell you're riding there, missy!
See more »

Connections

References The Naked Truth (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Traditional
Performed by Roger Manning
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User Reviews

 
Quirky, surreal and completely out of the norm
9 February 2017 | by VinnieRattolleSee all my reviews

Mona (Fairuza Balk) is a young artist who lives with her pregnant cousin (Debi Mazar), works at a pet store (run by Téa Leoni) and she's recently realized that sweet boyfriend Jeff (Noah Taylor) feels more like a brother than a lover. The lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur when Mona encounters a sexy stranger (Patrick Dempsey) who may be the devil himself - and her lust for this man directly results in Jeff's death. So what's worse than accidentally murdering your boyfriend? Being the only one who can see his ghost.

I can't help but wonder what all of the people who wrote bad reviews expected to see. This is one of those movies like "My Boyfriend's Back" or a John Waters opus where the characters don't function in a normal semblance of reality - they're all one-note and their actions/reactions are often absurd. And on top of that, it's low-budget fantasy, so some of the FX (as well as Debi Mazar's wig) are somewhat lacking... but that sorta adds to the fun.

The story juts along at its own pace and in its own direction, and I can't say that I ever anticipated what was coming next - though the ending was a little cliché (not that I could think of a more suitable one). Balk is likable as always as the leading lady and Taylor is charming as her dead weight. Dempsey was well-cast but he only appears in a few scenes and doesn't utter a single syllable. And renowned scene-stealer Jeffrey Jones also deserves mention for his supporting role as a minister. Unfortunately, Leoni plays it pretty broad and Mazar was uncharacteristically restrained (actually it feels like they should've switched parts).

"Life in the Fast Lane" was cute, it held my interest throughout and made me chuckle quite a few times. I couldn't really ask for more from such a dopey little comedy... except for maybe a better title ("There's No Fish Food in Heaven" wasn't much better, but at least it made sense for the film).


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