Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sleeping Pills

2003
1h 25m
Drama
Advertisement

Cast

Jonathan Chalker (Tarika)Lea Downey (Charlotte)Melissa London (Tricia)James Compton (Kevin)Jennifer Kirchenbauer (Kimberly)Jeff Danos (Abortion)Lindsay McDonald (Amber)Ari Greenberg (David)

Director

Michael Lauter

Advertisement

Synopsis

Tarika, a supposed expert in Applied Probability, gets a job with a cutting-edge transportation company, Dymotran (Dynamic Modular Transportation), and develops a romantic interest in his attractive new boss and EVP, Charlotte. Having presented himself to his new employers as a square-toed professional, Tarika is embarrassed when Charlotte discovers that his closest friends are playful misfits with little to no professional aspirations. In spite of apparent compatibility issues, Tarika and Charlotte begin to develop a relationship. Tarika reconsiders his choice of friends after his on-again off-again love interest, Tricia, makes out with Kevin, his close friend and proverbial ringmaster, during a surreal birthday party in a kitschy Mexican restaurant (complete with cliff divers and Mariachi bands). Tarika struggles to decide which life suits him best and as is his tendency, develops somewhat of an over-attachment to Charlotte. After an untimely marriage proposal to Charlotte, who is focused on her career and not ready to settle down, Tarika is dumped. In his bitterness and hurt, Tarika resigns from work on Dymotran's sustaining project, the development of a futuristic, modular transportation system. This places Charlotte and her company in jeopardy and Charlotte confronts Tarika in the parking lot as he leaves the office for the last time. This encounter erupts into a full-blown screaming match and eventually ends with Charlotte admitting that she loves Tarika. After a final plea from Charlotte for Tarika to reconsider his decision, he agrees to give two more weeks to the job and in return, Charlotte agrees to be open-minded about a future with Tarika. Taking breaks from his final work on the project, Tarika visits many buildings and public spaces of 60's and 70's Modernist origin, the architecture and design of which serves as inspiration for much of his work. At every turn, another one of these spaces is boarded up and bulldozed. This builds upon the predominant theme of Sleeping Pills, whereby the entities and images forming ones identity are crushed without remorse in favor of new and improved versions. These images serve as a metaphor for the ephemeral home, relationship, and sense of self that can be seen as a consequence of a Postmodern society. Tarika is reunited with the old gang for a final roller skating session at the 'funplex', a large skating rink and game arcade scheduled for demolition the following week. Soon after, Tarika meets up with Tricia at the court yard of their old junior high school (an odd building with no windows) where Tricia reveals that she is leaving the area for good and asks Tarika to run away with her. The plot culminates with Tarika having to make a decision to either run away with the unpredictable and fun Tricia or stay and attempt to build a life with a more stable, yet seemingly incompatible Charlotte.

Advertisement

Advertisement