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A boy from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, caught up in the drug scene of the mid-70s, gets in trouble one too many times with the law. To stave off a jail term, his father arranges for him to be placed into a prep school in Cornwall, Connecticut. The terms: Graduate, or else. Written by
Matt Cotnoir <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Outside Providence". ***1/2. Timothy Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy) lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He's 17. He and his friends are stoners. They hang out and argue the relative benefits of moving to California or staying in Pawtucket after high school. Their criteria for deciding revolve around the potential quality and quantity of drugs and sex. Dunphy lives with his dad (Alex Balwin) and his younger brother (Tommy Bone). Dunphy gets in trouble. One of his dad's friends is "connected" and gets Dunphy's jail sentence deferred if he enrolls and successfully completes his senior year of high school at an exclusive prep school. Dunphy moves from stoned fish in a small pond to fish out of water. His ensuing adventures are predictable but fun. There is the geeky roommate, stoner pals, beautiful girl that's out of his league, and the Dickensonian schoolmaster. I enjoyed most every moment. No scene ever got too melodramatic or silly. The stoner jokes and other one liners are funny. "Outside Providence" plays as a very good 70s coming-of-age movie. The writing credits for "OP" goes to Peter Farrelly of the Farrelly Brothers ("There's Something About Mary", "Kingpin", and "Dumb and Dumber"). Given the Farrelly connection, I was surprised by the restraint and tenderness of this movie. Very much worth the rental.
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