Rubin & Ed is an American independent comedy-buddy film written and directed by Trent Harris and released in 1991. It is about an eccentric, unsociable, young man who is forced by his mother to make some friends before she'll return his stereo to him. He is joined on a trip through a desert, by a pyramid-scheme salesman, to assist in finding a location to bury a frozen cat.
Crispin Glover plays Rubin Farr, a reclusive slacker of sorts who spends a lot of his time listening to Mahler, dressing in '70s clothes, and being chewed out by his mom, who owns the hotel they live in, for not having any friends and not doing anything but dancing around to some very strange classical music while squeaking a toy mouse (the kind for pets to chew on). His mother takes away his stereo and tells him that once he makes a friend, he can have his music back. So he begins his search for one.
Eventually, he finds Ed Tuttle (Howard Hesseman). Ed has problems of his own. He is a part of an organization that makes money through a pyramid scheme, and Ed has been less than successful in recruiting new members. He also suffers quite a bit of verbal abuse from his ex-wife, Rula, played by Karen Black. Ed asks Rubin questions for a survey, which should lead into Rubin attending the seminar. Instead, Rubin has Ed come over to meet his mom. When Ed goes to get some ice for his water, he flips out over finding a frozen cat in the freezer. The two talk and decide to go bury the cat in the desert, to Rubin's decision. Because cats hate water, and so he can't be buried at sea. They make a deal that if Ed will drive Rubin out to the desert and help him find the right spot to bury Rubin's dead cat, Rubin will attend one of the organizations' meetings. Things go awry, as they tend to do, and things start to really get weird. The two bicker throughout the journey to the desert, and end up getting lost on their way to find the perfect spot after getting drunk. At one point, Rubin drinks from the cooler containing the dead cat for lack of water.
There are touching moments though, such as when Rubin and Ed finally bury the cat where Ed looks at Rubin and sees him crying and realizes that however strange Rubin is, he is another human being in anguish because he has lost the only thing that ever loved him. Later, Rubin sees the way Ed's vicious ex-wife treats him and, possibly for the first time in his isolated life, tries to reach out to comfort another person.
|Howard Hesseman||Ed Tuttle|
|Michael Greene||Mr. Busta|
|Crispin Glover||Rubin Farr|
|Brittney Lewis||Poster Girl|
|Anna Louise Daniels||Rubin's Mom|
|Ray Gordon||Barking Man|
|Dorene Nielsen||Ed's Mom|
|Aaron Tranberg||Desk Sergeant|
|Patrick Michael Collins||Lacky|
|Jane Mendenhall||Woman By Pool|
|James Nielsen||Ed's Dad|
|Diane St. Cyr||Bonnie|