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"Unapologetically brash in dialogue and texture GOODNIGHT JOSEPH PARKER is the classic love story brought to a no-pleasantries bar room. Girl loves man who loves woman, woman isn't worth his time. Into that mix throw in a hopeless drunk with a good heart and weak stomach, a bartender who's more desperate than his customers and Steven Tyler as a shameless bad boy looking for a good time and fast woman. Powerful, gritty, hard hitting and raw." Written by
Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
OK, this is a tough one. My friend possibly coined it best when as we silently left the theatre suddenly said "Well, that's about enough to make you want to open a vein." Reminiscent of Tennessee Williams and as mentioned before 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" the film wreaked of darkness, inner tensions and hopelessness.
The dirge begins in a small very dirty bar containing a washed up owner (Sorvino) , a cocktail waitress (Mazar)and one greasy loser patron (Edson).
They are arguing about where everyone went and why. Edson lets on that he has a "secret" but won't tell what it is. There is some very good camera work and especially the XCUs on Sorvino to enhance the maudlin of his character. It's intense...I'm hooked.
Then, here comes the comic relief in the form of Steven Tyler. He comes in as this scum-bucket loud-mouthed trashy punk (a part he didn't seem to have much trouble pulling off) yelling at the other loser that it was time to go. He had about a 4 minute scene in which he talked some trash, got some laughs and then made a grand exit by being chased out.
It turns out the "secret" is Joey Parker(Chinlund) is coming "home" He's a local boy gone good in the citaay. Supposed to be guesting on the Jay Leno show soon they all hear ! He turns the mood around , getting drunk and promising to do a show in the bar to bring the customers back in. The cocktail waitress is in love with him. There's singing , dancing. Then as the roller-coaster clicks to the top he asks about their old friend "Monkey".
Well, Monkey is no more and there is a lot of underlying tension about how and why. From there it plummets into a deeper and deeper funk. The ex-girl friend (Dickens) that he intends to ask to marry him shows up. She's a junkie ho-bag, her and the owner have words. She gets some cash from JP. More fantastic secrets are revealed. Entangling more and more emotions and blather of the small town life centered around this scummy bar. This went on for another half hour or so until everyone is very drunk and numerous emotional catastrophes have transpired.
Again, here comes Tyler to lighten things up. Bouncing into the room. Running his abundant mouth. The scenes almost seem like they don't fit into the big picture being so abstract from the rest of the film. Then, as quickly as he came, exit ST and return to the emotional upheaval. This went on until the very end of the movie.
Now, it may sound like I didn't like the film. That's not true. It was disturbing but it was supposed to be. The acting, the camera work and lighting were exceptional (watch for the camera movement during Joey's second encounter with with his old girlfriend). I'm impressed that it took as little time as it did to shoot and came in under budget.
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