Shaun Lucas’s review published on Letterboxd:
This was James Mangolds first film. Even in his early movies you can see his ability to tell a interesting and compelling story in a simple way.
The film follows Victor (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince) a overweight, lonely and unhappy cook, who works with his mother (played by the great Shelley Winters) at a small diner called Pete and Molly's. He does anything and everything for his mother.
His world is changed with the arrival and hire of a beautiful college drop out Callie (played by Liv Tyler). He falls in love with her, but struggles to express himself around her. When he suffers a tragedy, his wolrd is thrown upside down, forcing him to make choice about what he wants and what the future holds for him.
This is a very independent film, that Mangold struggled to find a distributor to put his film out. The story and the way it's made reminded me a lot films like clerks, early sodenberg films of the 90's. But that is what made this such an interesting film, is the simplicity of how it was made on a very small budget.
All the acting is solid liv Tyler does a great job as . Deborah Harry is good also. As is Shelley Winters as Dolly victors mother. But to me the real standout is Pruitt Taylor Vince, a unquie character actor, who is mostly know for odd and strange characters. Very rarely does he get a leading role. This in my opinion is probably his best role playing Victor, it's a character that doesn't speak or say much, the only real way he expresses himself is through looks and actions.
He's so beautiful in this as a lonely figure, who just really wants to be loved for who he is. Throughout the film he grows and evolves ever so slightly, which makes for a interesting and compelling character. This is no more evident then in a scene in a store room where he is pretty much eating his feelings. He retrieves a box of dounuts that are hidden away. As he eats the dounuts he begins to cry, it's such a heartbreaking scene that convoys so much about how his character is feeling.
Overall a really beautiful and simple story.