When the opening shot of a film is a close-up of a young woman's face screaming an expletive slightly above the camera, it's a good sign viewers have started a crass, biting comedy that will keep them mostly entertained. Actress Zoey Deutch (Zombieland: Double Tap, 2019) plays a loud, street smart hustler determined to get out of her blue-collar life in Buffalo, New York through her passion for money and her even bigger passion for scamming people.
Her fanatical plans for financial success (and bending the law) take her to a job as a debt collector where she discovers a world of scamming all its own. But this ferocious woman's attempts to "improve" (or take over?) the debt collecting system bring about arguments, death threats, gun shots, and a deflated sex doll. While the original screenplay has boring one-liners, and little room for the supporting cast to share in Deutch's mad energy, it achieves at being funny and skewering the shameless unregulated business of debt collecting in the U.S.
Buffaloed felt like other recent, zippy, dark comedies of underworld money grabbing like The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and The Big Short (2015) but on a much smaller scale and with visibly fewer resources. And although Deutch is forced to carry the majority of the film on her own, it doesn't quite reach the zenith of a well-balanced, consistent, or genuinely believable comedy to make this her breakout role. (But I can feel she's on the cusp of becoming a household name.) Buffaloed won't be receiving any awards or nominations (or even a slot on critic's top ten lists), but it was okay and will at least get some viewers laughing.
This independent, spunky (but flawed) film premiered in February of 2020 and is recently available for viewing on Hulu.