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An authentic and loving view of family, do wop music and Brooklyn
I grew up in the Metro New York area during the do wop period in rock and roll so I know the music well. I've also been acquainted with some "one hit wonders" living in serene obscurity. I discovered I was living next door to the lead singer of a do wop group with a very big hit record for fifteen years only after another neighbor mentioned it to me in passing.
This small budget movie was written, directed and acted by people who know the territory. The cast is uniformly excellent with Armand Assante, Diane Venora, Edoardo Ballerini, Christy Carlson Romano and Joe Grifaci leading the way.
Shot on locations around Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay and Bay Ridge in Diners, Taverns, Wedding Halls and under the Verrazano Bridge, the film captures the sense of the Italian Irish Brooklyn that predominated in the late 50's and early 60's and lives on today in small enclaves.
Kenny Vance from Jay and the Americans wrote the title song and did the vocals for "Vinnie". A small quibble about the music: the big hit from the fictional Vinnie and the Dreamers was "This I Swear", a bona fide hit for the real life "Skyliners". It might have worked better if they had picked a more obscure song from that era.
One notable attribute about the "one hit wonder" from the 50's and 60's that I personally know and the way he is accurately portrayed by Armand Assante is how easily they took their "15 minutes of fame" and moved on to mundane lives as cops, teachers, bartenders, etc. The groups of that era were financially ripped off and rarely got any significant money. This is a stark contrast to today's reality show contestants who get agents and linger on the fringes as long as they can.
Bottom line: this movie was made by people who cared.
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