There are two types of flawed protagonists. Take Jenny Slate’s Donna in the unforgettable comedy Obvious Child, or even Jon Favreau in Swingers for instance. Characters who are self-absorbed, and through their narcissism, can be unwittingly brash and discourteous to others. But what they share in common, is the ability to earn the affections of the viewer, to ensure we remain on their side, and root for their cause, regardless of their foibles and imperfections. Regrettably, in Jamie Babbit’s Addicted to Fresno, the ill-mannered, churlish lead role Shannon doesn’t have quite the same appeal – making for a picture that, much like your relationship with the aforementioned character, you strive to like but it’s without many redeeming qualities.

Judy Greer takes on the role, a sex addict recently discharged from rehab (or so her sister thinks), who is being reintroduced into society by that very sibling, as the beleaguered and benevolent Martha (Natasha Lyonne) pulls some strings to get her damaged sister a job as a maid at the hotel she works at. However during one fateful afternoon, when Shannon accidentally murders a guest, rather than own up to the police – with Shannon fearing that by being on the sex offenders list (having publicly slept with a fellow teacher at her old school) – the law may not be so forgiving. So they decide to try and dispose of the body…

What’s an even greater shame when it comes to the distinct lack of any palpable emotional attachment for the role of Shannon, is that it’s a character embodied by the persistently endearing Greer, who so often has this unique ability to add nuance and pathos to a role, no matter how little screen time she may have – such as her brief, yet affecting turn in The Descendants. Part of the disengagement in regards to the two leads comes from the general, playful tone of the piece too, as a picture that works best when intimately studying the sisters – which is an approach we carelessly deviate away from. Instead this becomes all too contrived in its slapstick farcicality, especially when the pair are left with the corpse they’re attempting to get rid of. It’s especially disappointing given the screenplay has come from the creative mind of Karey Dornetto, who has lent her creative input to the likes of South Park, which is the pioneer of irreverent, crass humour that carries a deep, satirical undercurrent at all times, deeming it pertinent – exactly where Addicted to Fresno falls short.

While containing a somewhat underwritten sub-plot with Aubrey Plaza’s Kelly, a love interest of Martha, it’s representative of the film’s most commendable feature; to have a picture with a gay protagonist and yet not have the entire narrative revolve around their sexual orientation. It just happens to be who they are – and it’s all the better for it, in what is a refreshing, female centric comedy, with a lesbian and sex addict as the two leads. However for a film where there’s so much to admire, there’s just so little to take away.