Xander Robin’s funky, punky horror romance “Are We Not Cats” has got a doozy of a plot summary: unorthodox drama about a man who loses everything, then meets a woman who shares his fondness for eating hair. The film delivers what it promises, with this often grotesque and sometimes sweet love story about Eli (Michael Patrick Nicholson) and Anya (Chelsea Lopez), who connect deeply through their shared obsession.
Eli’s hit a rough patch in his life: His parents are moving to Arizona, his girlfriend’s moved on to someone else, and all he’s left with is an old moving truck. Through a delivery gig, he meets the bleach-swilling Kyle (Michael Godere) and then his colorfully be-wigged girlfriend Anya at a grimy underground DIY rock club. Eli’s grasp on life is tenuous, and his fixation on Anya seems to be the only thing motivating him. He gets a job at the lumber yard where she works, woos her with stolen gifts, and soon, the two are engaging in the intimate act of eating each other’s hair, a predilection that quickly turns dangerous.
“Are We Not Cats” is short, bizarre and to the point, and includes an important message (eating hair — it’s bad for you). But the singular aesthetic is gritty, beautiful and expressive, and somehow, you want to root for the love story of Eli and Anya, thanks to the charismatic performances of Nicholson and Lopez.
‘Are We Not Cats’
Running time: 1 hour, 16 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills