‘Izzy Gets the F— Across Town’ will get on your nerves

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Mackenzie Davis plays a woman determined to crash her ex’s engagement party in “Izzy Gets the F--- Across Town.” | SHOUT! STUDIOS

We’ve all been there.

Think of a time when you were at a social event and you were introduced to someone, and that person was instant fingernails on the chalkboard of your very being. Within minutes, you’re wondering how anyone can stand to be in the same room with that individual.

“Izzy Gets the F— Across Town” is the movie equivalent of that instantly annoying person.

From the split-screen gimmickry to the filtered lens work to the overly self-conscious chapter titles to the rebel-punk soundtrack to the manic overacting, “Izzy Gets the F— Across Town” is more irritating than an itch you can’t scratch or a mosquito buzzing in your ear.

It is a movie that almost dares you to walk out (or click away, if you’re watching at home).

Mackenzie Davis was an electrifyingly charming presence in the recently released “Tully,” but as the titular character in this wannabe manic comedy, she cranks up all the tics and mannerisms and wide-eyed double-takes to an unbearable level, thus creating one of the least sympathetic characters of 2018.

Then again, I’m not sure any actor would be able to find enough grace notes in the Izzy character to make her likable. Writer-director Christian Papierniak has created a selfish, immature, desperate, unfunny lead character who is clearly in need of help but doesn’t seem the least bit interested in reversing her downward spiral.

Izzy is a struggling punk-rock singer-songwriter-guitarist who hasn’t worked much since an acrimonious breakup with her sister Virginia (Carrie Coon). She wakes up one morning in a stranger’s bed, with little recollection of how she got there.

She throws on her clothes — a catering outfit stained with red wine and/or blood — and hurries out the door.

Cut to Izzy standing on the corner, smoking a cigarette. A jogger who has just completed a run shoots Izzy a dirty look — and Izzy responds by blowing smoke in the woman’s face and literally barking, like a dog, at her. When the woman scurries away, Izzy laughs and says, “What a bitch!”

Told you Izzy was a real treat.

When Izzy sees a Facebook post about her ex-boyfriend Roger (Alex Russell) celebrating his engagement to her former best friend that evening, she flips out and embarks on a crazed effort to, well, get the f— across town by 5 p.m.

Cue the first subtitle, which reads:

“ ‘I Need My F—— Car, Dick.’ Venice Beach, 5 hours left.”

Off we go on a series of vignettes, some of them mildly amusing and some borderline pointless. The idea, I suppose, is for “Izzy” to be like a daytime version of Scorsese’s 1985 black comedy gem “After Hours,” with Griffin Dunne stumbling into a number of wild misadventures in New York City as he tries to make his way home.

In this case, Izzy needs to find a way to Los Felize so she can crash the engagement party. She has no money and she has exhausted the patience of her friends and family (probably because she’s an irresponsible, selfish user), so this will be no easy task.

One detour takes us to Culver City, where Izzy drops in on Walt (Haley Joel Osment), who has hired Izzy to do odd jobs in the past, e.g., writing a break-up letter to Walt’s girlfriend.

“It didn’t work! She’s still my girlfriend!” laments Walt.

We also witness a strange reunion between Izzy and her sister, in which they exchange insult daggers and then perform a weird albeit fascinating duet during which they stare at one another with equal parts love and hatred.

By the time Izzy finally makes it the f— across town, we are actively rooting for Roger to send her packing. (It’s never a good thing when we feel more empathy for a character who has yet to appear onscreen than for the character who has been leading the charge the whole way.)

Then again, once we meet Roger, there’s little to like about him either. Maybe these two deserve each other. Maybe Izzy would be doing her former best friend a favor by stealing Roger back.

The only thing less satisfying than the build-up is the finale, which goes from mind-boggling to you’ve got to be kidding me.

I will say this for Izzy: She never stops giving us reasons to not care about her.


Shout! Studios presents a film written and directed by Christian Papierniak. No MPAA rating. Running time: 86 minutes. Opens Friday at AMC River East and AMC South Barrington.

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