It’s Brooklyn in the mid-70s, and a teenager is working at a dying cinema, owned by a guy that loves talking old movies.
He has a brother that’s a robber, and friends that drink. Some go to college, others collect garbage.
He has a mom who can’t cook, and a father that’s an abusive drunk.
These are all set-ups for what could’ve been an interesting movie.
Brian also likes to draw and paint and some feel this is his way out of the horrible life he leads.
That skill sure helps him pick up girls at the bar. In one scene, he cleverly uses his finger on a steamed up window in a hot bar, to draw the woman he’s interested in.
Later in the movie, they meet at a party and end up having a brief affair.
The movie quickly falls into every ridiculous movie cliché you’ve seen before, and that have been done better in every other movie I’ve seen.
The girl breaks off the romance for reasons that are never very clear (she claims she’s going to California with the travel agency she works for).
Brian applies for an art college, but doesn’t want to tell his parents.
For some reason, he can’t tell them that he uses the basement of a bagel shop attached to their apartment to create his art. He’d rather they think he was involved in drugs or something else down there.
The parents are played by two actors I like – Karen Allen (where has she been?) and the always muscular Stephen Lang (Avatar). He is very menacing and well-cast in the role as the abusive father, but the script is so bad that the serious scenes actually had me laughing.
I would’ve liked to hear more conversations between the movie theatre owner and Brian. I would’ve liked Brian’s friends to have been interesting.
It was fun looking at the movie posters in the background. One was the Charles Bronson movie Chino.
Those scenes were always ruined by cheesy dialogue like “What is this Rocky Horror Picture Show? It’ll run for a week, the weirdos will come see it, and nobody will ever remember it.”
The movie had lots of moments like that. None of them clever.
Another line was a college student telling his friend “How are you going to make money on computers?”
I liked the fact that when cars drove by, they weren’t all cherried out hot rods. Often times, movies that take place in the ‘50s or ‘60s do this, as if the streets were filled with the types of cars you see at car shows.
In this movie you’d see a crappy ’72 Nova drive by. It felt like it was 1975.
There’s a character that mispronounces everything. There was nothing interesting or funny about that.
There were flashbacks with kids in a tent listening to their parents fight. They were supposed to be moving scenes. They were laughably bad.
There were cameramen that probably should’ve invested in a tripod.
It’s one thing if we’re watching the big brother breaking into a store and running from cops – but when characters are merely having a conversation, we don’t need shaking.
If you want to see a gritty movie that deals with young people not having money and delving into crime, rent Trainspotting.
Or better yet, rent another movie that’s supposed to take place in the ‘70s that went under the radar. The Paul Rudd film Diggers came out a few years ago, and I loved it.
I see this movie was written, directed, and produced by John Gray – who wrote, directed, and produced Ghost Whisperer.
Maybe he should stick to TV.
Maybe I should’ve gotten drunk before seeing White Irish Drinkers.
The movie gets an F.