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Jack Palmer is a social worker whose job has taken precedence over his personal life. Mainly, his job is to help four mentally challenged men live regular lives in a home. They consist of: Norman, who works at a donut shop and has a thing for keys; Barry, who thinks he is a golf pro and doesn't communicate well with his father; Arnold, who is into all things Russian and has a habit of spending money; and Lucien, who is into Spider Man and must testify before the state senate. Jack wants to help them, but he also thinks it is time to move on with his life. The hard part is trying to say goodbye to the guys he cares about. Written by
Pat McCurry <email@example.com>
Believe it or not, I am forced to give a very low review of this movie. Even though my user name is derived from it. (At least from this script.) In 1999 I had the honor of playing Norman Bulanski in a stage presentation of "Boys Next Door" and the stage play is considerably better than this movie. While the movie seems to focus on Jack and Barry, the play gave equal time to all the boys. Each was given a particular hurdle he had to overcome. Norman Bulanski, an overweight, and simple guy who loved doughnuts, his keys and his girlfriend, had his date with sweet, simple minded (and no "skinny Minnie") Sheila. Barry Klemper, a brilliant schizophrenic who wound up in the same group home with severely developmentally disabled men through a hiccup in the system, had to endure a visit from his insensitive and cruel father. Lucien P. whatever the movie called him, (It was Smith in the play) had to go before the "State Sneck" (Senate) who had deemed him mentally competent and was threatening to completely cut his funding... even though he still had trouble reciting the first five letters of the alphabet. And Arnold... had to deal with everything. The play showed a growing frustration in Jack as he neared the end of this career, that I think showed somewhat in this movie, but I felt Norman and Lucien's scenes were underdeveloped and neglected. The movie added a scene where Arnold takes his groceries back and these scenes are hilarious and masterly done by Jeters. I do wish the play had them. Also I felt Lucien was quite well done. I don't think Nathan Lane was given the opportunity to fully develop Norman. I think he could have done much better if he had had more time to understand Norman's mind. On the whole, I suppose, it was very well done... if you aren't expecting the depth of the play. It is good entertainment and you wind up caring about these characters... but if you can... see the play too.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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