There is the potential for a great dark comedy inside I Put a Hit On You, the feature directing debut of Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark that premiered at this year's Slamdance Film Festival. It could have also been a great relationship movie or a suspenseful thriller in which two people are trapped in an apartment being hunted by a killer. Ultimately, it's none of these things -- or, more accurately, it's only a little bit of each. That's even more frustrating, as the movie is constantly providing examples of what it could have been.
Sarah Canning (of TV's The Vampire Diaries, a show I have never seen) plays Harper, an A-personality who invites her longtime boyfriend Ray (Aaron Ashmore) out to dinner to propose to him. Ray, caught off guard, turns her down, sending Harper home hurt and angry. She proceeds to get very, very drunk and posts an ad on Craigslist offering the diamond engagement ring she bought for herself in exchange for someone to kill Ray. Sobering up and thinking better of her actions, Harper races to Ray's in a panic to try and convince him to leave -- but not before the hit man has already arrived. Maybe.
That same slightness is part of the movie's undoing. While it could have gone down a number of different paths, I Put a Hit On You is unable to commit to much -- it straddles not just genres (which I would not mind), but also its own interests. I like the idea of hiring a killer as a gross overreaction to a heartbreak, and I like the idea of trying to see that through to its logical conclusion and examine the effects, like when the characters in movies like Road Trip and Overnight Delivery mail sex tapes to their exes and have to chase them down, only way less broad. I like the idea of a crazy situation that locks these two characters inside a small space with one another and forces them to confront their relationship issues. But these are all just ideas -- ideas presented in the movie but seldom realized.