Synopsis by Mark Deming
Cult figure Robert Downey, Sr. directed this offbeat comedy set in the eccentric environs of Los Angeles. Hugo Dugay (Alyssa Milano) is a young woman who makes her living cleaning swimming pools when she isn't busy looking after her mother Minerva (Cathy Moriarty), who's hooked on gambling, and her father Henry (Malcolm McDowell), who's hooked on alcohol and a number of drugs. One day, Hugo finds herself with over 40 pools to look after, complicated by the fact that L.A. is in the midst of a drought and she's forbidden to use city water lines to fill them. This is especially unwelcome news for Chick Chicalini (Richard Lewis), a crime boss who is having a party and insists on having a clean pool with fresh water for the occasion. In hopes of easing Chick's anxieties, she cooks up a complicated scheme involving a tanker truck and a quick trip to the Colorado River. Hugo also encounters a mysterious hitchhiker (Sean Penn) who may have magical powers and deals with other customers, including overwrought filmmaker Franz (Robert Downey, Jr.), and Floyd (Patrick Dempsey), a handsome man with whom Hugo is falling in love, despite the fact that he's suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Robert Downey, Sr. co-wrote Hugo Pool with his wife Laura Downey, who herself died from ALS at the age of 36.
addiction, bookie, business, dysfunctional, filmmaker, gambling, handicap, hitchhiker