Parker Posey is considered, by many, the queen of the indie film world, and Hal Hartley is considered, by fewer, the king of that same kingdom. They collided some years back with the film Henry Fool, and they are back again with the sequel. Fay Grim is an intelligent comedy with fast paced dialogue that takes a turn for the dark at the film’s final climax. The story begins with Fay (Posey) trying to survive as a single mother to her teenage son, whom has captured the sexual attention of too many girls at high school. Added to this, the FBI and Fay’s brother’s publisher have a newfound interest in what Fay could know about the whereabouts of her missing husband Henry’s journal—which they consider to be brilliant and possibly contain national secrets. The events that follow lead Fay into the European world of espionage and terrorism, causing her to fight her way through gunfire and far too much mistaken identity.
The first noticeable feature about Fay Grim is the comedia del arte style acting that Posey performed wonderfully. The film’s white comes through the speed of its dialogue. As Hartley said before the film premiered, it is impossible to catch every line of dialgue and that’s okay. This plays extremely well when Posey has her phone on vibrate and has it on her—in her new outfit that has no pockets. This is also one of the view films to portray a middle-eastern terrorist in a positive manner—also revealing this terrorist to be the voice of patience, wisdom, and tortured conviction. For the less film savvy viewer, Fay Grim could be described as an indie-dark comedy with Gilmore Girls-esque dialogue.