See the new
Brego website

Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen Films

Lord of the Rings


Viggo Mortensen in Floundering

Viggo Mortensen and family in Floundering

Release: 1994

Director: Peter McCarthy
Writer(s): Peter McCarthy
Producer: Peter McCarthy

Runtime: 97 minutes

MCAA Rating: R


View movie on new
Brego website

Floundering Cast and Crew

Viggo Mortensen: Homeless man

Other leading roles:
James LeGros as John Boyz
Shaka as Shaman
Zander Schloss as Catatonic Man
John Cusack as JC

Floundering Synopsis

John Boyz (James LeGros) lives near Venice Beach. In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, he is "floundering," suffering from nightmares and uncertainty. His life is full of bizarre friends, sweaty sex, pistol-wielding gangsters, bungling bureaucrats, police fanatics, revolutionaries, and weirdos.

Floundering Brief Review

The adolescent angst gets old after a bit, but clever dialogue, strong acting, and original material make it enjoyable none the less.

Viggo Mortensen, his ex-wife Excene Cervenka, and their son Henry Mortensen, play a homeless family. They are on-screen for less than two minutes, near the end of the film. Look for them also in the crowd singing "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?" during the final credits.

Note: the VHS and DVDs are no longer in print, but Amazon has inexpensive used copies.

Floundering Soundtrack

Frankly, the soundtrack is better than the movie. Some great songs, several were created for the film:
1. 3 AM - Pray for Rain
2. My Drug Buddy - Stan Ridgway
3. Shuffle - Drunken Boat
4. Racist Town
5. Lord Kill the Pain - Red House Painters
6. Not Over You - Basehead
7. Bikepath - Pray for Rain
8. Floundering - Stan Ridgway
9. Goodnight - Lifter
10. Fuel - Idaho
11. My Home Is a Burning - Robert Lucas
12. Desert Travel - Pray for Rain
13. Wut Ya Like
14. Sing a Powerful Song - The Saw Doctors
15. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? - Chris Dowd

Floundering Resources

Floundering review by Scott Renshaw - Renshaw describes John Boyz as "a guy with a good heart who finds himself overwhelmed by the apparent injustices in his world and his feelings of powerlessness to do anything about it." He critizes the film's "heavy-handed left-wing moralizing," but concludes that "for those who enjoy their comedy with an edge and don't mind the occasional preaching, there's a real winner to be found in Floundering." Score: 8/10.
Review of Floundering by Marc Savlov - Writing for the Austin Chronicle, Savlov opines that McCarthy's "directorial debut is one of the better offerings dealing with twentysomething angst so far, neither condescending nor bloated with ill-gotten stabs at generic GenX humor."
Rotten Tomatoes logoRotten Tomatoes Reviews: Floundering - Synopsis and links to several reviews. Not enough reviews to assign the film a tomato rating.

Floundering Video Clips

Viggo Mortensen's role in Floundering, along with his then-wife Exene Cervenka and son Henry, is so short as to be almost a cameo. The minute-and-a-half clip below is their only appearance. But then the credits roll, and you are treated to a brief glimpse of the people behind the roles.

John Boyz offers his apartment to the homeless familyflnd-01: Homeless family  «18-Sep-04» - Late in the film Floundering, a homeless man, woman, and child (Viggo Mortensen, Exene Cervenka, Henry Peter Mortensen), packed into their vehicle with belongings tied to the top, appear in front of John Boyz' (James LeGros) apartment. John offers his apartment to them as he leaves town. The woman (Exene) accepts gladly; the man (Viggo) whines that it was probably a crack house.
Quicktime video 320x240 (01'35, 7.1MB)
Exene Cervenka & Viggo Mortensenflnd-02: Credits  «18-Sep-04» - During the Floundering credits, the cast sings along in a rendition of "Nothing Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding," as the camera pans through the crowd. Here it finds Exene Cervenka and Viggo Mortensen. Viggo is holding Henry and a piece of paper with illegible writing on it.
Quicktime video 320x240 (00'05, 800KB)

Floundering Photo Gallery