Love hurts, as the famous song goes. But in "Vincent N Roxxy," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this week in New York City, the phrase takes on a much more literal meaning.
At the direction of Gary Michael Schultz, "Vincent N Roxxy" begins when the titular Vincent (Emile Hirsch), a stoically silent drifter in a sleek black muscle car, happens on Roxxy (Zoë Kravitz) after a car accident and saves her from a group of thugs looking to collect on money her brother owed them before he was murdered. Taking Roxxy away from "the city" to hideout at his farm, Vincent, a mechanic, reunites with his estranged brother, JC (Emory Cohen) and JC's girlfriend Kate (Zoey Deutch). Sparks eventually fly between Vincent and Roxxy as both try to move on from their violent and mysterious pasts.
The film is a slow burn. Schultz patiently lets the romance develop gradually and organically, while Hirsch and especially Kravitz give subtle, nuanced performances. The moody meditation on loneliness and love is bolstered by a stirring score from "The Roots" drummer Questlove and some gorgeous cinematography from Alex Disenhof. The duo of Cohen and Deutch provide the foil to Vincent and Roxxy — all their cards and history are on the table — and the foursome of actors create a makeshift family that feels real enough that it is quite the bummer when Vincent and Roxxy's history catches up to them.
— Gary Michael Schultz (@garymschultz) April 19, 2016
"Vincent N Roxxy" surely owes some inspiration to 2010's "Drive," with Ryan Gosling, which also featured a short-on-words, car-centric hero trying to suppress his violent nature for the sake of love.
As in "Drive," violence eventually rears its ugly head. The bloody climax of the movie is a gut punch, but, despite much groundwork laid in the first hour and a half, feels a bit forced and suffers from just one too many endings. However, the stylistic "Vincent N Roxxy" remains worthy of a test drive.