Director: Tanya Wexler
Writer: Brian Sacca
Stars: Zoey Deutch, Jai Courtney, Judy Greer
Synopsis: Set in the underworld of debt-collecting and follows the homegrown hustler Peg Dahl, who will do anything to escape Buffalo, NY.
Zoey Deutch is a gift all of humanity should be thankful for. Any movie with her name in the credits should be on everyone’s watchlist. Her latest film is Buffaloed, a dark comedy about a girl who wants more in life and is willing to bend the rules to get it. This film may not be for everyone, but I recommend checking it out just for Zoey Deutch.
Buffaloed tells the story of Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch) born into a blue collar family and the only person in her family that seems to want to make money and get out of town- even if she has to hustle people to do it. Peg comes up with many schemes, from selling cigarettes to counterfeiting Bills tickets. After serving time in jail, Peg is called by debt collectors. After some fast talking, Peg convinces the man on the phone to let her into the underworld of debt collectors. Her skills quickly make her the most successful person there, so Peg decides to go out on her own so she can make more money. This angers her former boss, Wizz (Jai Courtney), and their feud and accompanying shenanigans attract the attention of the authorities.
Zoey Deutch is the heart and soul of this movie. Without her, I don’t know if I would have been interested in Buffaloed at all. Her character does a lot of unlikable things, but because it’s Deutch we forgive her and keep watching. This is also the first film of hers where I really thought she resembled her mom, Lea Thompson (Back to the Future). The supporting cast was also good, I particularly like Judy Greer as Peg’s Mom Kathy and Jai Courtney as debt collector crime boss Wizz. I also loved the atmosphere of this film. It reminded me of where I grew up in the midwest (I know Buffalo, NY is not in the midwest…) with it’s slang and use of the (correct) word for carbonated beverages, pop. If you liked The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Buffaloed is kind of in that same genre of “rag-tag group makes money in a sketchy way” flick.
I don’t have a lot of criticism for Buffaloed. My only complaint is it was sometimes hard to follow and I really wanted more for Peg. I really felt for her. She was intelligent and street smart and I felt like she could do so much more if she just had the opportunity. Frustratingly, her bad decisions and poor judgement kept holding her back. The movie was still entertaining, even if things didn’t pan out exactly as I wanted.
Buffaloed is a fun flick that proves, once again, that Zoey Deutch is a force to be reckoned with. She easily carries most of this film on her own and looked like she enjoyed every minute of it. She’s fantastic in comedic roles and I can’t wait to see her in something that will gain more awards attention. Buffaloed is available to rent or buy on a few streaming platforms (Amazon, YouTube, Vudu) and since theatrical releases are on hold for a bit, I strongly encourage you to check out this one.
Overall Grade: B
Hear our podcast review on Extra Film: