Audrey the Trainwreck is a love story in the most sincerest of terms. The film’s scope is much smaller, though, than a standard Hollywood love-fest, as director Frank V. Ross steadily captures the still, staggered nature, and quiet desperation of plugging away at life’s monotony until one stumbles upon requited love. Moving through the day with a glum look on his face, Ron Hogan (Anthony J. Baker) is pushing 30 working as an ATM parts purchaser, seemingly in a perpetual rut, strangled by the dull milieu encapsulating his life, consistently instigating small, petty tiffs with his friends and co-workers. In walks Stacy (Alexi Wasser), a wide-eyed, oddly appealing package delivery girl who wears a similar sad-sack shrug as Ron, gently observing the world around her; in once instance, she’s seen peering into a neighbor’s apartment as an older woman serenely watches TV alone. The two meet through an online matchmaking service and begin to go on a few dates, minus the extraordinary When Harry Met Sally antics we’ve become accustomed to from various films dealing with a couple’s initial courting phase.
Audrey the Trainwreck is solely concerned with portraying these characters and their evolving union—their awkward, dull dating habits and stream of rambling conversation—as true to life as possible. The director fortunately avoids the trap of the “Did he call me yet?” scene. Instead, Ross chooses to focus on what is going on in between the staggered dates, allowing the audience to see the lesser, unflattering qualities of the characters; during a company volleyball game, Ron aggressively blows up at a co-worker for dropping water on the floor, and then walks off the court in a huff. Also, Ross’s adventurous mixing of audio, like his use of ambient noise, is refreshing: the audibly loud chatter of another couple sitting next to Ron and Stacy at a restaurant; the bellowing traffic surrounding the couple as they say goodnight outside.
Both Baker and Wasser pull off fine, subtle performances, but the two are just models here, ultimately acting as movable props for the director’s handheld-shot rumination on loneliness. But while the narrative might be thin and lack drama, the film as a whole proves a sweet, revealing look at two forlorn beings coming together in a banal world.