I watched the indie romantic dramedy Krystal when I was home sick with a cold from hell, in between feverish naps and pulls of flu medicine. Taylor (Nick Robinson) is an 18-year-old who suffers from a heart condition that causes visions of a demon who taunts him. When he falls in love with an older woman, recovering junkie/hooker/stripper Krystal (Rosario Dawson), Taylor fakes being in AA to try to win her over, along with her wheelchair-bound 16-year-old son.
This sounds bad, right? But it’s wonderful. Taylor—a sick romantic who manipulates his way into the life of a woman who’s already got enough shit to deal with—should have exhausted the last of my feeble energy by making me roll my eyes to death. But he didn’t! And the fact that his crazy lust is actually supported by his parents, played by the deliriously perfect William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman... well, I don’t know. It all made sense at the time? Somehow a lesson about beauty and truth and trust emerged from this quietly fantastical Southern gothic story that I had expected to lazily endure. How the hell did that happen? William H. Macy also directed Krystal. What sorcery does he posses? Did he tap into some totally different plane of existence where unimpressively lovesick young white men make compelling protagonists? Hey, look, there’s that beckoning devil again—is Krystal one of his tricks? Am I smiling because I’m delighted, or confused, or high as a damn kite?
Couldn’t tell ya, and it doesn’t matter. I was happy to have experienced the surprising charm of Krystal, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is hopped up on cold meds.