Aside from scoring a big fish with nearly every take, I can’t imagine picking people’s pockets for a living to be very lucrative — the risk surely outweighs the benefits. But in Loosies, it’s precisely what Bobby (Peter Facinelli) does on a daily basis, although he tells his mother (with whom he still lives with) that he’s a stockbroker. It’s a lie he lays on everyone he meets, including Lucy (Jaimie Alexander), the one night stand he knocked up.
Problem is, while Peter Facinelli (better known for his stint in those “Twilight” flicks) has enough charisma to be a leading man, his character doesn’t. He’s a thief, a liar and such a pompous dick that I’m amazed no one who interacts with him calls him on it. The tiger-changing-its-stripes story (which Facinelli also wrote) doesn’t help either — it’s too predictable and convenient to sustain much interest past the first act.
It’s this act, devoted to showing the beauty and the underbelly of New York City, which shows promise. In it, director Michael Corrente captures the life of the city with wide, sweeping shots of the buildings and the crowds bustling in and out of them like ants. But he keeps the pacing fast and light — he has to — we’re spying Bobby as he roams the city streets and subway hunting for marks. From Wall St. to the Fashion District to Central Park, we watch him masterfully fleece the unsuspecting of their possessions; watches, wallets, jewelry and briefcases are his for the taking. It’s rather impressive to see in action (and a damn good way to know what to look out for) but it’s all for naught as everything he pilfers is given to Jax (Vincent Gallo), a local fence with whom Bobby’s deceased father owes a $500,000 debt to.
Second and third act of Loosies play out like a typical romantic dramedy — Bobby is presented with a pressing dilemma and is determined to change his ways, even though he has no honest skill set to speak of. Lucy, who the audience is supposed to be supportive of (she wouldn’t be in this position if she wasn’t so “loose” herself), doubts his ability to change too. And why wouldn’t she? — he’s got her running cover for him, obstructing Lt. ‘Sully’ Sullivan (Michael Madsen, who may be the busiest actor on Earth), a cop whose badge Bobby stole and uses at will, whenever the pissed off detective gets close.
Yeah, there’s a subplot between Sully and his Captain (William Forsythe) about promotions or some shit and another between Bobby, his mother (Marianne Leone) and her secret lover Carl (Joe Pantoliano). The former is inconsequential, both are overdriven.
What matters though is Bobby has a plan and, no matter how unlikely or farfetched it is to happen without incident, we’re along for the ride. Wouldn’t it be nice if all our troubles and transgressions could be neatly tied up and forgiven so simply?