This film requires a leap of faith from its audience: Viewers have to tackle some big, rough issues and fairly ugly behavior, but the trade-off is getting to witness some truly amazing acting. Morton, Patric, and Garr are all terrific here, and indie-film stalwart Illeana Douglas has a few brisk, brief scenes as Claire's neighbor and confidant. Morton manages to make Claire a complex person, not just a vulnerable victim; Patric makes Jay's self-loathing aggression the most visible part of a wounded soul. And the two come to confront each other; as Claire says to Jay in one of the film's more emotionally naked confrontations, "Maybe you could try making love to a person, instead of a body."
Miniucchi may not shy away from ugly imbalances and interactions, but she's not simply playing the "shocking indie film" angle, either. Claire and Jay are people, not just positions; after the credits roll, you may find yourself arguing about the relationship you've just seen unfold and the characters you've just witnessed the lives of. Regardless of which position you take, you're going to have an opinion. And the plot, like life, throws a few surprises at the characters and the audience. Expired is a tough film about the challenges of living and taking chances; some of its laughs are wrenchingly uncomfortable, and some of its harder moments are excruciating, but it's always superbly acted and achingly sincere.