(Disclosure: I became a "Facebook Friend" of Mr. Mauck's shortly after seeing his picture.)
Straight To the Bone is one of the most satisfying pictures, indie or studio, American or foreign, that I've seen this year. It bears some formal similarities to the casual shaky-cam oh-my-god-look-how-real-it-is school that's started to metastasize in American independent films, but it's more patient with its characters and their moment-to-moment interactions without getting lazy or dull, because it is also more attentive. The dialogue and plot, while very much improvised, is at the same time tremendously focused and direct: people don't waste a lot of time talking around things in Straight To the Bone, but rather discuss them frankly, openly, honestly, articulately, perhaps even didactically, but always in an adult way, cutting-- well, straight to the bone.
If the great thematic burden of many independent films is post-collegiate apprehension about the future, Straight To the Bone registers the profound disappoint that sets in when you realize you haven't made the life you wanted for yourself. In this way, the film-- despite some amusing moments-- is not a comedy. It's not a bauble or a trifle; it does not indulge the antics of the arrestedly-developed and well-intentioned but rather insists that actions (and inactions) have consequences. It's a heavy film, weighty, serious-minded, as thick and densely-packed as other American indies are light and loose.
It is a major work, and I suggest you see it as soon as you are able.