Distress is the story of Emma Hauser, who gets trapped on a roof top in New York city with her lovelorn ex-boyfriend, Henry Smith, on the last day the building is occupied. Hours turn into days and an inconvenience turns into a matter of survival.
Emma, played by Michelle Hicks, battles with memories of a mentally abusive father, and the unrequited attentions of her ex, played by Chris Meyer. Outside of the rooftop is her current lover, Jack Douglas (James McCaffrey), who frantically tries to find what has happened to her.
The acting on all parts is near painful to watch, and the film quality and camera work bring new meaning to low budget. It is doubtful though that a larger budget could have done much to save this film. The segues are abrupt, and the dialogue comes off as unnatural, even in the urban desert island setting. The trapped couple resorts to eating rats and pigeons as time passes on, and the acting erodes with their apparent sanity, along with that of the viewer.
Distress is destined to lay in the Walgreens movie bargain bin, with the rest of the early films that threaten embarrassment to those that are fortunate to go on to future acting careers. Though the only actor involved that has much to worry about would be Michelle Hicks, who has appeared on several television series, such as The Shield, Heist, and The Mentalist, and is no doubt hoping that this little train wreck never reaches the easy access of the Netflix watch list.