You Won't Miss Me, Ry Russo-Young's character study of a gal passing the worst years of her life in cool North Brooklyn, leads off with a scene that lets you know right away that you're in the good hands of a young director sensitive to the idiosyncratic details that breathe life into a movie. We start with a guy and girl, mid-20s, seemingly confused by how they came to be alone together in this skanky apartment. What follows is less a seduction than a dazed "Why not?" as Stella Schnabel's blurry-voiced aggressor comes on to the longhair. They have a Morrissey-themed flirt, as if transcribed from life; she backs him into bed, and he goes along, trailing with a wary, compulsive chuckle.
The film follows Shelly, a 23-year-old whose life is scheduled around idle promiscuity, theater auditions and therapy sessions — listening in on her confessions gives the movie its diaristic quality. The unhappy luxury of "quarterlife" aimlessness is taken at face value while Shelly, played with piss and vinegar by Schnabel, is an engaging and even likable screwup, all the more so for being actually a little crazy. When she has one of her bridge-burning eruptions, like a hotel-room flip-out on a misfired road trip, you can't look away from the flames.
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YOU WON'T MISS ME | Downtown Independent | March 1-3; 7 p.m. Tues. & Thurs., 9 p.m. Wed. | downtownindependent.com