Claudia has lived all her life in a small, seaside, blue-collar town, hanging out with the same group of friends since grade school. Now she's waiting tables in a greasy spoon to help ... See full summary »
Jamey Meadows is a convict just released from prison, hoping to live a straight life on the outside. His brother tries to reenlist him into the crime world, but Jamey resists, getting a job... See full summary »
Adam is a painter who works as cab driver and blames his difficulties with women on his former girlfriend Kate who left him for lesbian Anne. As a result he doesn't pay much attention to ... See full summary »
Jon Bon Jovi,
Penelope Ann Miller,
Successful playwright Felix Webb has a new play, 'The Hit Man', in rehearsal. Directed by his old friend Humphrey, it is already being hailed as a masterpiece; but Felix can't enjoy his ... See full summary »
Staten Island Cab-driver, Bipin Raj, picks up a passenger, mistakes her for a movie star, but tells her that his brother, Vikram Raj, is a very well-known Bollywood mega-star with millions ... See full summary »
A painter who finds success (and true love) after a pickpocket steals one of his works, gives it a false authorship and promotes the imaginary artist to instant success so he can cash in on his ill-gotten gains.
Set in 1967 in New York City's Public Morals Division, where cops walk the line between morality and criminality as the temptations that comes from dealing with all kinds of vice can get the better of them.
Aaron Dean Eisenberg,
A cop begins to turn to booze and coke during a tough undercover assignment. When a big drug-buy goes sour and the cop ends up with a million in cash, he decides to take off with the money.... See full summary »
When the fiancee of a fireman reluctantly agrees to participate in a menage a trois with another woman, she does so on the condition that he reciprocate the favor with another man, which ... See full summary »
Mr. Fitzgerald, a widower and retired New York City fire fighter, wants to be left alone to pursue his hobby, painting landscapes. However, his three sons, one with wife and child, move ... See full summary »
Claudia has lived all her life in a small, seaside, blue-collar town, hanging out with the same group of friends since grade school. Now she's waiting tables in a greasy spoon to help support her mother. After three years together, her live-in boyfriend, Michael, is eager to tie the knot. Their life together is comfortable and Michael loves her. But Claudia has dreams of life beyond her home town and is afraid that if she marries now, she'll never realize them. Claudia's sister Kelly lives with her mother and struggles with good humor to care for her fatherless baby. Their mother hasn't left the house since Claudia's dad walked out on the family six months ago. No one understands why Claudia sympathizes with her renegade father, like him, she has a wild, restless streak and longs for more. But she can't quite put her finger on what it is she wants. So when her old flame, Charlie, returns from out west, she begins to wonder... maybe he's the answer. Written by
Eva Tauzer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Charlie and Claudia are talking at the gas station, his hands switch positions back and forth between shots. See more »
Listen, I'm not gonna stand for any of your bullshit this time, Charles. The last three years have been very peaceful here without you, so you act like an adult or you're out on your ass, understand?
See more »
Works exactly because it's subdued...a quiet, gritty slice of life surprise
No Looking Back (1998)
A grossly underrated film--but also not an "enjoyable" movie in the normal sense. It is such a realistic slice of life about a group of lower-middle class Long Island shore town dwellers, it sometimes fails to rise above its own material into a meaningful narrative. And that is what most movies find a way to do.
But you might reassess that intention and bask in a situation so simply wrought--the houses, the beach, the old cars, and most of all the array of people who fix cars and wait tables and hang out in ordinary working class bars. It all feels good even though it's not, overall, a feel-good movie. And the acting is generally spot on, even the doubtful inclusion of Jon Bon Jovi as one of the two main guys.
At the center of it all is the young woman, Claudia, played by Lauren Holly, who is trying to find a way to "not look back" and yet finds herself trapped by the town and her devotion to her friends there. (This is a slight flaw all along--this seemingly bright and striving young woman is still working at a diner when she could easily move on, or go to college, or get another kind of job.) But still, Claudia is nearly engaged to the nice guy Michael (Bon Jovi) when her ex-boyfriend Charlie from three years earlier returns to town. Charlie is played by writer/director Edward Burns and he might not be everyone's taste as a leading type, but he works in this role for me. He's charming and unreliable even in his actions, which are too coy and sweet and lovable for his sudden appearance in town.
So the conflict is there, and maybe it's not enough for a feature film. What fills in the gaps are small things, like a past abortion and its consequences, or a mother (played with utter brilliance by Blythe Danner) struggling with her own man issues. There are bar friends and a sister and a mechanic or two on the side, and it mixes and matches and floats and often avoids high drama or deeper plot development. Even the characters are left someone simple, partly because there are so many of them, but they become increasingly convincing.
What then makes the movie work? All of this, as it is, including its restraint and lack of the sensational. And most of all it's Holly's performance that builds and holds together through it all. I was surprised by the depth of what she pulled off and yet I'd never heard of her. It turns out she's been very active but in mostly smaller roles, both in movies and television. This is one movie never mentioned in highlights of her career, and I think it's a shame. Burns clearly pulled together people of talent for this small, focused movie, and as an independent movie with an independent feel it rises above its smallness. I have a feeling it will survive over the years and continue to be interesting for its honesty.
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