Young Alice (Emily Grace) is escaping to Miami from a lousy life in New Hampshire, with a cache of cash she's stolen from her boss. On the road, she meets up with Sandra (Judith Ivey) and her hubby, Bill (Bill Raymond), who offer to share the ride and their RV with her. Surprise! These good Samaritans turn out to be a couple of folksy pimps who recruit Alice into prostitution.

As big a twist as that slutty plot turn is seeing Ivey, as earthy and likeable as Joan Blondell ever was, in the role of a white slaver. She brings her usual charm and bubbly personality to the character, but is really all that enlivens this movie, which is actually, all too obviously, a digital video. While it's terrific that modern technology enables would-be filmmakers to tell their stories economically, What Alice Found rather displays the downside of things. It's shot in color, but might as well be in black-and-white. What imagery and little technique it possesses is so impoverished, so video, that any paying audience, sitting in a theatre, will inevitably feel a major letdown, which is not redeemed by anything revelatory in terms of story or performance.

The whole thing smacks resoundingly of student film, from the youthful protagonist to the road-y premise to the jejune fascination with trailer culture. There is, of course, nothing erotic to be found here, let alone anything to compel you emotionally. (Alice's johns are all predictably hapless losers.) It might have been more compelling with a charismatic actress as Alice whom you could really care about, but Grace is just ordinary with a capital O.

-David Noh