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Surreal character study focusing on the friendship between two male hustlers, Mike and Scott, in Portland, Oregon. They live on the streets, do drugs, and sell themselves to men and women. Mike is quiet, gay and suffers from narcolepsy. Abandoned as a child, he is obsessed with finding his long-lost mother. Scott is the rebellious son of a high-ranking family, who lives this life mostly to embarrass his father. Mike is in love with Scott, who still maintains he is straight and insists that his wild lifestyle on the streets is only temporary. Together, they embark on a quest to find Mike's mother, traveling from Portland to Idaho to Italy, with Scott picking up a beautiful girl along the way. Written by
I had heard some good recommendations on this film but am lost as to why the overall rating (6.9) on IMDb is so high. Am I missing something?
I watched the whole movie intently, even though my attention was flagging a lot. Those long (metaphoric?) cloud scenes with houses falling apart, reminiscent to me of the Kansas tornado in the Wizard of Oz, lonely stretches of road reminding the protagonist (over and over) of a face, yeah we get it, we don't care. And on. River Phoenix, in the lead playing Mike, is remarkable and eerie too - so much of James Dean in him, the short intense and talented life.
This is loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV part one, and it transfers huge chunks of the play into the movie script, some of it sounding forced and odd. An experiment that for me, fell flat on its face.
Keanu Reeves, playing Scott, plays a street hustler in an act of rebellion against his father the mayor of the town. He befriends Mike, a narcoleptic prostitute who falls asleep on the job all the time, and who to all intents and purposes falls in love with him. They go on a road trip to find River's mother who abandoned him when he was small.
The details of Mike's parentage are appalling and the road trip takes them to a rather weird Italy and then back again to the streets where Scott turns his back on his old ways, abandoning Mike.
Uneven and actually frustrating, the dialogue was very muddy and hard to understand at times and the shifting of script from modern to Shakespeare not successful.
4 out of 10. Could be to some tastes, but not to mine.
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