Cynical white-trash slacker Cliff (Stephen Dorff) and uptown hottie Wendy (Reese Witherspoon) survive a convenience-store hostage-taking by shadowy terrorists. The bad news? As instant celebrities, they find themselves accosted by all-new torturers in the form of grasping friends, slimy media and a creepy public.
Ten years on, Jefery Levy's sweary satire feels like a quaint period-piece from the era of grunge: all plaid shirts, McJobs, stoner anomie and aural décor from Soundgarden, Hole, Babes In Toyland and Radiohead. At best, the story's live-to-camera ordeal presages reality TV and To Die For's tart cynicism. At worst, screenwriter Danny Rubin's dialogue clanks like a busted chainsaw.
For the most part, though, SFW feels like a zeitgeist-driven meditation on one man's unwilling relationship with fame. Kurt Cobain's ghost wafts through this film like a bitter wind.