City Paper is not for tourists
One of the stars of Frank and Cindy, Frank Garcia, was bassist for the ’80s band OXO. What? Don’t remember him? Hairier, fatter, and using coffee cans as an improvised toilet, you probably wouldn’t recognize him even if you did. And that’s the point, or at least it was when G.J. Echternkamp started making a movie about his parents. He wanted to mock his lowlife alcoholic stepfather, but Cindy Brown, who married Frank during the height of his 15 minutes, ends up stealing most of the spotlight. That’s partially because Frank isn’t as interested in helping G.J. out with his “project”—most of which ended up airing on the TV version of This American Life—but he does come around once he’s got a couple of bottles of wine in him. Still, this isn’t Intervention, folks. Cindy, off the sauce for five years, reveals that for most of the filming, unbeknownst to the filmmaker, she’s been popping pills and swears her life will be different once she gets replacements for some of the teeth she’s missing. G.J. offers to write the check, but through this often hilarious portrait of one weird family, it’s clear that neither Frank nor Cindy is interested in changing. And by the end, you’re just not sure you’d want them to.