“A Lot of Nothing” is a compelling film that, just as the title states, has nothing, a lot and a lot of nothing. Each of these three aspects combines to give us an interesting plot that will surely get the viewer thinking. And the best part is the sound effects, which practically set the mood of almost every scene in the film. The makers certainly paid attention to the sounds they were going to use, and we have to admit that they have turned out to be effective. Here’s more.
James and Vanessa are an elite couple living in LA who have just found out that their neighbor, LAPD officer Bria Stanley, has shot a kid. It’s breaking news. Vanessa is enraged at how Brian shot a black kid and has had enough of his racist schemes. James, however, tells her to wait and find out the whole incident that has transpired before reaching any conclusions. As irritated as she is, she tells James to take a gun, just in case he needs it, and confront Brian. However, they end up making love.
The next day, Vanessa faces prejudice at work. This adds to her rage, and she returns home only to notice Brian smoking outside his house. She confronts him about his actions and ends up being mistreated by Brian. She returns home and tells James, who has already returned from work. James is shocked at what Vanessa has done and decides to speak to Brian and clear things up with him. Talking to a cop like that is not right. As he tries to speak to Brian at his door, Vanessa pulls a gun on Brian from behind James. James is at his wit’s end, seeing all that Vanessa is doing. They bring him to their garage and tape him to a chair. All this is because Vanessa wants to speak to him. What will be the end result? James and Vanessa also have the former’s brother Jamal and his wife Candy coming over for dinner. How will that turn out? A lot of nothing is what follows.
A Married Couple
What the film does best is explain what’s going on between James and Vanessa through their very conversations. And this begins from the very first scene itself. Vanessa holds Brian responsible for the death of the black kid without having any proper knowledge of the incident and is bent on questioning him. She believes that Brian gets his kicks out of killing black kids, but in reality, she is just making things up in order to reach a conclusion that suits her mentality. Then, she manipulates James to follow her path too, using his bitterness to feed her emotional mechanism. James addresses this and tells her that he has been seeing a therapist and understands that the equation that they share isn’t healthy. But rather than listening to him, Vanessa is shocked at how James has been talking to a woman behind her back. It is just irritating how she ignores the bigger picture to salvage what she can, which adds to her cynical mindset. But no matter how much James understands this, he still follows her while keeping his calm and sensibility. He tries to figure out how to go about getting what Vanessa wants without making things worse.
There is one scene in which James stresses his manhood and shows how he is trying to prove to himself how much of a man he is by interacting with the lady AI on his air bike. But we only realize this towards the end of the film, when he reveals to Vanessa that he cannot father a child. Perhaps this is also the reason why he slept with Candy, his sister-in-law, i.e., to reassure himself of his manhood. But we all know that it is futile. Manhood is not only about making love to a woman or fathering a child. On the other hand, his action aren’t morally right either. Vanessa, on the other hand, is someone who questions everything, so to speak. This sometimes makes her cynical, and at other times, she hits the spot; for instance, she knew Candy slept with James. We do not know how she came to guess it, but she did. We can say that there will come a time when there will be people like her who will pull guns on others only to have a civil conversation with them. So however she may be, we cannot question her, neither from a moral standpoint nor from a psychological standpoint.
Considering the title of the film, both Vanessa and James are a lot of nothing. Vanessa has her insecurities that result in nothing but her own pseudo-satisfaction, while James has his complex that also results in nothing but his own pseudo-satisfaction.
‘A Lot Of Nothing’ Ending Explained – Do James And Vanessa Let Brian Go?
As shocking as it is, James shoots Brian. This is unexpected, especially since they now know that the kid Brian shot—not deliberately—isn’t a black kid. The kid was white. So maybe the reason James shoots him is that Brian’s facts contradict Vanessa’s “truth” (that Brian shot a black kid), which she evidently managed to persuade James to accept, if not believe. Read that again. What adds to James’ frustration is when Brian apologizes to him for shooting a kid. As surreal as it may sound, James might not be interested in Brian’s killing a kid, but what bugs him is the fact that Brian apologizes to him, and it makes him look at himself as a criminal or the one who has turned out wrong. The film effectively shows a dead Brian, but as the camera is about to reveal his bloodshot face, the scene cuts to reveal Candy’s newborn baby. This symbolizes Brian’s death bringing about a new kid’s arrival in the world. The film ends with James and Vanessa staring at the baby’s face on their phone, thanks to the picture that Jamal has shared from the hospital. It’s painful and unnerving because all the events that occur in the film are a result of the death of a white kid, and the film ends with a black kid being born.
“A Lot of Nothing” has a captivating plot that appeals more to the mind than the eyes. It is definitely a worthwhile watch, as it forces us to break our heads about all that goes on in the film. You may like it, or you may hate it, but you cannot ignore it. And that’s the thing about “a lot of nothing.”
“A Lot of Nothing” is a 2022 thriller drama film directed by Mo McRae.