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Rock singer John Mellencamp makes his screen and directorial debut in this story by "Lonesome Dove" author, Larry McMurtry. The story, not too separated from Mellencamp's real life, finds him as a country music star whose meanderings and philandering has thrown his life into turmoil. Returning to his native Indiana to try to reestablish a normal life. Instead he takes up with an old lover (Lenz), ignoring his loving wife (Hemingway), and duplicating the lifestyle of his womanizing father (Akins). Written by
John Sacksteder <Jsack@ka.net>
John Mellencamp's directorial and acting debut is a surprising success. From the first moments of the film, the down-to-earth nature of the material and setting are unmistakable. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were in Indiana living with the Parks family. Dialog is the most realistic I think I've ever heard, and the interactions among the Park family evoke images of the quintessential Midwestern family. The film's only flaw is in Mellencamp himself. While he does an admirable job with direction, his acting leaves a bit to be desired. He never seems to be comfortable with his stance or arm motions, an obvious sign of a novice performer.
Fortunately, the crystal clear emotions of the characters, and the simple but powerful story help keep the viewer engrossed. Larry McMurtry's screenplay, and the wonderful supporting cast, continually remind us of the real emotions here: family allegiance, a desire to go home, and lost love. Falling From Grace makes you wonder whether you can really ever go home.
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