April 23rd, 2011
reviewed by John Anderson
Bracingly original, alarming and droll, the righteously ribald “Rid of Me” should prove a breakthrough for helmer James Westby and his producer and leading lady, Katie O’Grady. Pic also offers further evidence of the remarkably innovative indie cinema being produced outside New York and Los Angeles — in this case, Portland, Ore., where the domestic meller and the horror movie have met, wed and proven fruitful. A devoted cult following seems more likely than Pacific Northwest rain, although a reasonable ad budget could mean bigger things.
Full article on Variety.com
April 23rd, 2011
A low-budget “Mean Girls” is how organizers promoted “Rid of Me,” James Westby’s Oregon-set black comedy that had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday night. Although the movie is interested in social fault lines (among adults), particularly between havoc-wreaking outcasts and complacent yuppies, the more apt comparison might be to Miranda July’s “Me and You and Everyone We Know,” only darker and more goth.
Read the full article
April 23rd, 2011
Writer, director, editor and producer James Westby is in town to promote Rid of Me, his newest film, which premieres this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. Rid of Me can best be described as a period piece, a comedy, a black comedy; OK, it’s nearly horror; but it transitions sweetly into an intimate documentary-styled portrait of self-discovery. In the movie, the talented actress Katie O’Grady plays Meris, a disenfranchised wife, who moves with her husband, Mitch, to his hometown in Portland, Ore.’s suburbs, where Meris, for the first time, meets her husband’s old friends from high school, friends who arouse his former frat boy persona. As a result, Meris’ life becomes a solitary hell, until she mixes with a group of pseudo punk rockers who help Meris grow and ultimately discover herself.
Read the full article on NY Press
April 19th, 2011
When newlyweds Meris and Mitch move to Portland, Meris does her best to fit in with her new hubby’s old high school clique. The harder she tries, the more painfully obvious it is that Meris just doesn’t belong. But its not until the gang succeeds in rekindling an old flame between Mitch and his perfect, upbeat first love that Meris—tactfully put—loses it. Her life trashed, Meris settles for a job as a candy store clerk in town. There she finds a real friend in rocker Trudy, who introduces her to the virtues of thick black eyeliner and the grimy underworld of the Northwest punk scene. Self-discovery and 1960s Cambodian rock lie just around the bend.
Full Article on indieWIRE
April 18th, 2011
The Tribeca Film Festival commences this week in New York, promising its usual fistful of revelations and discoveries to go along with the annual world premiere of whatever Edward Burns made for $400,000 this time around. The first such discovery I can claim is Rid of Me, director James Westby’s curious hybrid of psychological drama and pitch-black comedy that, if there’s any justice, should make actress Katie O’Grady a star
March 14th, 2011
The Tribeca Film Festival unveiled 43 features that will screen in the 10th annual event’s World Narrative and Documentary Competitions as well as its inaugural Viewpoints sidebar today, with selections hailing from 32 countries, including 42 World, 11 International, 19 North American, 7 U.S. and 8 New York Premieres.
Rid of Me,” directed and written by James Westby. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
When she moves to Portland, Oregon, Meris does her best to fit in with her husband’s clique of old high school buddies—until she gets dumped. Her life trashed, she takes a job as a candy store clerk, opening unexpected worlds into the Northwest underground punk scene and Cambodian rock. A low budget is no barrier to creativity and cinematic innovation in this black comedy of embarrassments about sticking up for yourself no matter how messy
February 25th, 2011
James Westby, one of the scrappiest of Oregon’s DIY independent filmmakers, has assembled an unusually interesting cast for his next project, “Rid of Me.”
Read the full article at The Oregonian website: James Westby movie to star Theresa Russell, Art Alexakis and Storm Large
Published: Friday, February 13, 2009, 2:52 PM