MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Addicted To Fresno’ Is One Of 2015’s Best Comedies

Film: Addicted To Fresno
Starring: Judy Greer, Natasha Lyonne
Directed by: Jamie Babbit

Addicted To Fresno is the bold and unflinchingly hilarious comedy you never knew you needed to see. It’s the perfect response to anyone who claims women can’t be funny, as well as anyone who believes every movie needs romance or a male lead.

Shannon and Martha are two sisters who share an unshakeable bond. The eldest, Shannon, was recently released from sex rehab after landing herself on the national sex offender registry. The baby of the family, Martha, was able to secure her big sister a position as a maid at Fresno Suites, the local hotel. Martha works there as well.

When we first meet Shannon and Martha, their lives are in a period of adjustment. Everything could be worse, but nothing is necessarily good, and then things are turned upside down entirely when Shannon accidentally kills a hotel guest in the midst of a post-rehab relapse. The pair decide the best decision is to hide the body. It sounds like flawed logic, but when weighed against the possibility of Shannon having to return to jail as both a sex offender and murderer, it begins to sound quite promising. Before long, however, the sisters learn that losing a corpse in Fresno is a lot harder than it seems.

Addicted To Fresno is the perfect raunchy comedy to end Summer 2015. It’s big on heart and laughs, but what really makes it work is essentially an all-female cast of heavy-hitting talent. Judy Greer leads the way as Shannon, spewing profane remarks and sassy quips with such rapid delivery you’ll walk away more pissed than ever that she had nothing to do or say in both Jurassic World and Marvel’s Ant-Man. Natasha Lyonne, best known for her work on Orange Is The New Black, showcases a more restrained side as Martha with pitch-perfect comedic timing. Additional laughs are delivered in equally charming turns from Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, Clea Duvall, Allison Tolman and Jessica St. Clair.

The men, while all only in the film briefly, are nothing to scoff at either. Fred Armisen, Ron Livingston, Malcolm Barrett, Mitchell Hitchcock and Edward Barbanell all come and go in memorable bit parts. Their appearances are typically small in the grand scheme of things, but everyone carries themselves so well they feel essential to the universe. Not a person or moment could be spared, and that is perhaps what makes Addicted To Fresno feel like more than a run-of-the-mill indie comedy. There is heart in the midst of everything ridiculous that occurs, and the film never loses sight of that thanks largely to its talented cast.

An unnecessary early glimpse of the film’s final moment spoils a bit of the third act fun, but overall Addicted To Fresno is a fresh and original comedy that offers a bounty of unique moments moviegoers won’t soon forget. Judy Greer is 2015’s biggest star, and here she finally has a chance to shed all preconceived notions of her talent and deliver an unforgettable performance people will be talking about for years to come. That alone makes this film worth your time, but what will keep you glued to your seat is the supporting cast and their ability to keep the story grounded as the stakes continue to rise.


Addicted To Fresno is currently available on demand, and in theaters oct 2.

James Shotwell
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