A young man and woman find love in an unlikely place while carrying out a shady deal, in this charming romantic adventure from writer-director Adam Leon.
Contemporary World Cinema
Writer-director Adam Leon's sophomore feature feints toward the crime genre, incorporating a series of felonious shenanigans while eschewing the mandatory mayhem, before settling into what turns out to be an exceedingly charming romantic caper. Its protagonists get into their share of trouble for the sake of a very modest windfall. But in the end, what they gain is something far more valuable: trust.
Danny (Callum Turner) lives with his mother and his brother Darren (Michal Vondel) in New York City. When Darren gets busted on a misdemeanor in Atlantic City, Danny needs to fill in for him on a shady deal. It seems a no-brainer: get in a certain car, drive to a certain meeting point, retrieve a briefcase of undisclosed contents. But Danny grabs the wrong piece of luggage, and soon he and his driver, the very pretty and initially quite hostile Ellie (Grace Van Patten), are traipsing through some suburb to correct the goofed gig with only nine bucks and a MetroCard between them.
As the plot thickens, the briefcase McGuffin recedes into the background and the delightful interplay between Danny and Ellie comes to the fore. He schleps fried chicken, and she used to wait tables in a Pittsburgh strip club, but neither wants to look like a loser. Gradually, they open up and come to realize they actually have a lot in common, dreams of self-betterment included.
Fleetly paced and inventively shot, Tramps keeps things moving while leaving plenty of room for its leads to shine. Van Patten charts a touching transition from adversarial to gracious, while Turner, recalling a young Richard Edson, is just about the cutest would-be criminal imaginable.