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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter McCarthy
Produced by Peter McCarthy
Written by Peter McCarthy
Music by Pray for Rain
Cinematography Denis Maloney
Edited by Dody Dorn
Peter McCarthy
Distributed by New City Releasing
Release dates
  • 1994 (1994)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Floundering is a 1994 comedy film set in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots of 1992. The film was directed and written by Peter McCarthy, starring James LeGros with appearances by John Cusack, Ethan Hawke, and Lisa Zane.


John (James LeGros) is an unemployed young man, living alone and trying to pay hospital bills for his brother and only family. The film is told as a narrative delivered by John under the pessimism of the early 1990s. A misanthropic shut-in, he deals with his personal issues through a series of disjointed and sometimes imaginary encounters with television personalities, dead relatives, a former liberal turned investment banker, drug users and the unemployment office. Each chapter is bears a varying degree of social commentary. The film climaxes as John loses hope, and his search for meaning turns to self-destruction. John is finally rescued by the charity of an old friend, then resolving to leave Los Angeles and start his life anew.



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