A destitute 14-year-old struggles to keep his life together despite harsh abuse at his mother's hands, harsher abuse at his father's, and a growing separation from his slightly older brother. Petty thefts for food grow into more major takes until he steals a cash box from the diner where he works. Although Joe uses the money to pay off some of his father's debts and to replace his mother's records that his father smashed in a fit of temper, Joe gets no thanks. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The working title of the film was "Pleasant View" during pre-production. See more »
Although the film is supposed to take place during the 1970s, Joe is seen wearing a name brand underwear with the company logo on the waistband. This particular brand didn't produce that style until the late 1990s. See more »
[seeing Joe eating scraps out of the sink]
Did you get something to eat?
Uh, just some Ho-Ho's.
Ho-ho's? Get a sandwich. Tell Roy to get you a sandwich, man.
No, it's all right. I'll just pick on this.
I wouldn't be touchin' that if you saw the leper who was drooling all over that shit.
[calling to the cook]
Hey, Roy, you old fuck!
Get the boy a sandwich or somethin' before he gets hepatitis!
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I've always been a huge fan of Frank Whaley, and I've always found him to be one of the most under-appreciated, really great actors to have emerged in the 1990s. Here in his directorial debut, Whaley paints a deeply moving portrait of a troubled family floundering at the poverty level. Young Noah Fleiss is absolutely heart-breaking as the morally corrupt child of an abusing father, played by Val Kilmer in his most earnest dramatic role. Whaley's movie, drawn from his own life, is a touching, moving indie that should have gotten better notice.
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