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The bar in an old Pennsylvania steel town, housed with many of life's losers and disillusioned men, is the main setting for this slice-of-life film. Michael Madsen is the bar owner, who is deep in debt to the town's book-maker and loan shark Burt Young. Chris Penn is one of the bar's main inhabitants as he hides from his failing marriage to Mary Stuart Masterson. The bartender's sister (Virginia Madsen) is about to be married, and her former fiancé (Tom Sizemore) shows up in town, after leaving her at the altar years before. Con man James Belushi runs a con on Perry to steal the money for the wedding caterer. As every plot in this multi-layered story seems to be at its worst, things look up because of an unlikely hero. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the most disappointing films I've ever seen
Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Jeremy Davies, Virginia Madsen, Tom Sizemore, Mary Stuart Masterson, Hal Holbrook, Luke Perry, James Belushi, Burt Young, without a strong name writing or directing it, "The Florentine" was one of those good reunions of great people from Hollywood that resulted in one of the saddest films ever made, and sad in a bad way. Here's a film that wasted a little the potential of talented actors that didn't get a clue of what they were doing when they entered into this small work.
With not much of a purpose on sight, "The Florentine", of the title is a bar owned by Michael Madsen's character, a place where most of the characters will spend some good time in between their personal dramas before the great event in town, the wedding of Madsen's sister. Other event on course is the return of her first love, who abandoned her on the wedding day. Until we get to the party, there's the characters dilemmas about love, money, deceits, respect, meaning of life and etc, slow speeches that don't evolve to anything interesting and worth seeing. There's good moments like the ones involving Jeremy Davies trying to impress a beautiful waitress that doesn't want anything with him or Sizemore dealing with two crooks that robbed the naive Perry, who joined on a business enterprise that was a complete scam. The dialogs are uninteresting, most of the characters are real losers that don't have a thing to say except arguing about not having any money, but in the end everybody gets happy because they have the opportunity of being known as the common people, and common people all get together at The Florentine.
No wonder why a project with such a good cast is so below the radar and is very likely that Mr. Coppola didn't get his invested money back with this thing, and to think that he directed 11 films (between 1983 and 1997) just to pay the high costs of "One From the Heart", a box-office failure but an excellent picture better than "The Florentine". I wonder how many he had to produce just to pay for this one. 5/10
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