AMERICAN BUFFALO is another story of men's interminable struggle toward the top of the heap, a goal which ultimately and inevitably eludes most of us. Don Dubro, the proprietor of a dusty dark inner-city junk shop, holds court there with his friends and makes plans probably on a daily basis for his ascendancy to the top. He does this more out of habit than hope because he's long ago surrendered his future to the daily repetition of his life as guardian of the discarded remnants of others' possessions. Disheveled Teach, on the other hand, is either too dumb or too stubborn to accept the lot life has dealt him. Instead, he bucks like a wild horse under the saddle and refuses to be broken. Most pitiable of the trio which populates the movie is teen-aged Bobby. Mistaking much of the palaver which passes between the older men as pearls of wisdom, Bobby is the only one of the trio who still has a chance to make a life for himself somewhere beyond this tired too-familiar neighborhood. Don ... Written by
Mark Fleetwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A movie about junk. Worthless Lives that have hopelessly ended up in a junk store along with formally useful stuff that has also ended up in a junk store. The store has one thing of value, a rare Buffalo Nickel and one life of value; Bobby's, a young kid who does odd jobs helping out around the store. The store's owner Donnie, loves Bobby like a son and he represents the potential for success and happiness Donnie no longer has.
Dustin Hoffman plays Teach, Donnies friend. Hoffman's overacting is the only problem I found with this movie. If Hoffman had taken it down just a notch his charachter would have earned some well deserved sympathy. I wouldn't change a word of Mamet's excellent dialog, just have Hoffman calm down. The fact that the ending leaves the movie with no payoff was fitting and showed how the charachters lives have no payoff.
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