When, in these uncertain times, we try to find peace, comfort, or perhaps even distraction in art, I want my art to feel like comfort food. Specifically, I want the artistic equivalent of mashed potatoes. Delicious? Yes. Relatively inoffensive? Indeed. Given the choice, would I eat it every day? You bet. Lately, I’ve sated my desire for comfort art through Queer Eye. It makes me believe in the good of humanity and self-love. But this isn’t about Queer Eye; I am here to talk about Seattle Grand Illusion Cinema’s virtual screening of Abner Pastoll’s thriller, A Good Woman is Hard to Find. The film seems to be born of humanity’s worst and is the antithesis of all that I want in art right now...except in one key way: it is thoroughly entertaining.
Sarah, a meek, widowed mother of two young children remains desperate for closure after the recent murder of her husband. When a drug dealer who steals cocaine from a local mob uses her house to store his ‘product,’ she uses him to find her husband’s murderer. All of this is coupled with Sarah’s strained relationship with her mother, her struggle to make financial ends meet, a perverted grocery store employee, a police force that seems altogether unconcerned with her husband’s murder, and her son, Ben, who became mute after witnessing his father’s death. The film ultimately plays like a violent iteration of the clichéd ethical dilemma: Would you steal a loaf of bread to feed your family?