During a 24-hour period, as Christmas Eve slides into Christmas Day, Go follows an interconnected group of young Los Angelenos as their ragtag but comfortable existences are turned inside out.
Written by John August and directed by Doug Liman (Swingers), Go is all about forward motion, even when being still might be the best option. Go has the rambunctious feeling and the grainy widescreen cinematography of a ’70s movie, but uses the kind of fractured time line that makes more sense in the attention-deficit ’90s.
The film loops back on itself to tell the story from three different perspectives. On her third straight register shift at a supermarket, Ronna (Sarah Polley) is anxious to make money for her overdue rent and jumps at the chance to gain a windfall from an ecstasy deal. Simon (Desmond Askew), her hedonistic British co-worker, heads to Las Vegas with his equally outgoing buddies for a holiday of excess. Soap opera actors Adam (Scott Wolf) and Zack (Jay Mohr) find themselves on slippery ground as they are tapped for a real-life drug bust led by a wild-card narc (the hypnotic William Fichtner).
Is more than a little bad judgment involved in their misadventures? Oh, yeah. But the funny thing about this group is how they throw themselves headfirst into extreme situations without worrying about the consequences, as if they were living in a movie where everything is guaranteed to come out okay. Which, of course, they are.
John August’s script is smarter than the people on-screen, especially in the way it develops secondary characters who, at first glance, appear to be one-note plot advancers, like the "good" drug dealer Todd (Timothy Olyphant), Ronna’s loyal, unquestioning cohort Claire (Katie Holmes) or Marcus (Taye Diggs), Simon’s partner in misadventure.
From the high-energy credits sequence set at a warehouse rave, Doug Liman makes excellent use of music – including an inspired "Macarena" dance sequence involving supermarket produce. But his main goal seems to be keeping Go going, as if the only thing certain in these characters’ lives is flux.
Serena Donadoni writes about film for the Metro Times. E-mail her at email@example.com.