Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this hard-edged drama with a strong undercurrent of dark comedy, Stretch (Tim Roth) and Spoon (Tupac Shakur) are two friends who share both a passion for music and a dependence on heroin. Stretch and Spoon play in a jazz combo with Cookie (Thandie Newton), and after a New Year's Eve gig, they score drugs and get high together. Cookie lacks her friends' experience with hard drugs and soon ends up in the hospital after a severe overdose. Cookie's brush with death turns out to be a serious reality check for Stretch and Spoon, and they decide that it's time to kick drugs and get clean and sober. But both men know that they can't get off heroin on their own, and therein lies the problem; as they try to navigate a complex maze of social service agencies (who can't help them get treatment because they aren't on welfare), drug treatment facilities (one of which turns them away because they're only equipped to handle alcoholics), and hospitals (where, in order to be admitted as emergency patients, Stretch and Spoon ponder how to go about stabbing each other) in search of a detox program. The two friends begin to wonder if it might simply be easier to stay on drugs than to get healthy. Gridlock'd marked the feature film directorial debut for actor Vondie Curtis Hall, best known for his work on the TV series Chicago Hope; Elizabeth Pena and John Sayles both appear in supporting roles. Rap musician-turned actor Tupac Shakur, who played Spoon, died in a drive-by shooting four months prior to the release of this film.
drug-addiction, friendship, heroin, hospital, jazz, musician, overdose, music