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|Index||35 reviews in total|
This little gem of a film was shown on cable. Since I don't think it
ever had a commercial run, at least locally, it was a delight that came
out of nowhere. Dan Cohen, working with his own material, has dome
wonders with this buddy/road picture in which two different men with
different mentalities and background, come together as they touch each
other's lives in more ways than expected. If you haven't seen this
film, please stop reading.
Eddie Miller is an old salesman who loses his job after having a mild heart attack. The firm he has been working for years suddenly decide to fire him because he cannot be insured any more. Eddie is in a difficult position; his wife has died and left him with debts that he must repay. This is a decent man who has done honest work for his company and suddenly finds he must either stay for a few weeks training the new guy, who is going to inherit his job, or else, go into an unknown future, probably doing menial work.
The new man, Bobby is a happy go lucky kind of guy who enjoys his time on the road as it gives him the opportunity to play around all over his territory with waitresses, bar maids, or other women who are willing to have a good time with a handsome fellow. The contrast between Eddie and Bobby is notorious. Eddie prefers to stay in the motel room and solve puzzles rather than go drinking with the apprentice.
This is a story of contrasts between two different generations. What makes the film so endearing is the great work by the two principals. Robert Forster has been around, behind the stars for quite a while. He is a reliable character actor who is dependable, does his work well, but one never sees him in a lead role such as the one in here. Donnie Wahlberg, the new partner, is excellent in that he is just the opposite of the older man, but one can see the rapport between them. Donnie Wahlberg makes a magnificent contribution to the movie.
Bess Armstrong, makes the most with the small role of Katie, the woman who meets Eddie in the worst possible circumstances, but immediately recognizes this man is honest and decent. Eddie is the answer to her prayers and hopes. The two have incredible charisma and ease in their scenes together. Also, in a small part, Jasmine Guy, who is the kind hearted Tina, the owner of the "house of leisure" where Bobby convinces Eddie in going. Ms. Guy does wonders with her small time in front of the camera.
This is a film with an unpredictable ending. Director Cohen takes us into a wonderful road trip all over the state of Pennsylvania, and what a treat it turns out to be for those willing to embark in this adventure.
An escape from the gratuitous mayhem, crashes, gun play, torture,
nudity, lying, cheating, and sex of many contemporary movies.
This movie tells a great story, complete with emotions, situations, and predicaments that most people can relate to. It has a touch of violence and sex, but only in context with the storyline. Forster is superbly cast, and Wahlberg is delightful. The minor actors are believable and credible. Locations are just plain down-home rural America.
All the previous user comments are right on target. I can offer only strong agreement. This is one fine movie. Watch it with your loved one or your best friend (or both).
This film takes us into the world of diamond selling, with brilliant (like the diamonds being sold) cast, director and script. Slowly, we come to know these people, seeing their flaws and then learning to love almost all of them. This film should have had wider release when it was first introduced in theaters...and should be used as a lesson to film makers in schools across the country.
This is one of those gems you happen on by accident and then wonder why
never heard of it. A stellar performance by Forester, and Donny Wahlberg
a real suprise.
Notable name behind the camera is Rick Derby -- director and producer of Rocks With Wings -- one of the best documentaries to air on TV in 2002.
Check it out, you won't be sorry.
I saw this on the BIG SCREEN. Donnie Wahlberg was terrific in it. It is obvious that he has a lot of similarities with his brother, Mark. Robert Forrester plays an OLD SCHOOL diamond salesman. He is assigned to mentor Donnie...the new guy. It's amazing how STIFF Forrester's character is. He ALWAYS wears a suit, has well manicured hair and drives a lincoln town car..oh yeah, and he listens to mellow music. There is nothing remarkable about this stiff. That's where Donnie comes to the rescue. At first, Donnie is kind of put off my Forrester...but he grows to respect him. Out of respect, he tries countless times to hook Forrester up with a woman...to "loosen him up." The chemistry is interesting. Forrester eventually loosens up and after a series of events. I won't spoil it. There are few characters in this terrific movie and it's a joy to follow these two diamond salesmen as they hit the road to make sales.
Charming. That is all one really needs to say about this movie. Okay, okay, it's basically a road movie. We've all been there and we all generally know what happens when you get two people from different walks of life stuck in a car for under two hours of film. Sometimes you have to ignore your jaded movie-dissecting tendencies and just go for it. The script has genuine charm and some great laughs jammed into it, without ever actually trying too hard to be witty or funny in the first place. Of course, the chemistry between Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg has something to do with it as well. They just seem, well, effortless together. It's really quite something to witness, and not something you see very often in films, mainstream or otherwise. They just have that... thing together. You know, that thing? That indefinable thing? Well, they got it. They got it in aces and spades.
"Diamond Men" is a wonderful slice of Americana.
Arthur Miller's indelible use of a salesman as a symbol of much that's wrong with American capitalism and families so influenced cinematic imagery that it was continued corrosively by David Mamet in "Glengarry Glen Ross" and imitatively by Roger Rueff in "The Big Kahuna." (Yet, somewhat diabolically, salesmen are now more and more being used as role models for fund raising for nonprofit organizations.)
First time auteur, and diamond business scion, Daniel Cohen, has taken a similar situation of an aging road warrior (brilliantly subtle Robert Forster) and his apprentice (Donnie Wahlberg, with his brother's smiling charm and with NKOTB far behind) and the women they love and leave, and brought forth the shining humanity.
The small towns of Western Pennsylvania and their store owners, waitresses, and schemers provide an authentic background (well, maybe except for the brothel -- though I did get a kick out of the touch that had the madam scoring very high on the corporation's "customer service" exam) and the dialog, particularly about jewelry stores and diamonds, sounds completely genuine.
Even if the finale is a bit Hollywood, it feels redemptive, unlike other salesmen movies.
(originally written 10/6/2001)
Great road movie with excellent character development. Unfairly being "rightsized" out of his 30 year diamond sales job, "old timer" Robert Forster, is put on the road to train his successor. This uneasy situation eventually leads to mutual respect, and better understanding of each other. The heartless big company that they now both have to deal with is a perfect example of the "throw away" mentality used by companies to further their own gain at the expense of loyal employees. All I can say is that if you have ever been "let go", you will cherish this film, because in the end things get surprisingly gratifying for our mismatched salesmen. The movie is a winner, and is highly recommended. - MERK
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Can't emphasize enough: Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie
I've taken to putting movies in which the protagonists steal on a scale.
At the low end, you have a movie like "The Score". It was a weak movie in many ways, and one of its notable failures was that it failed to redeem the criminal protagonists from the reality that they, after all, were taking something that didn't belong to them.
At the high end (and also with Robert Forester) you have "Jackie Brown". It was a strong movie, and it earnestly and convincingly invites you to put Jackie's scheme (again, to take what ain't hers) within a complex moral/logistical web that at least demands that we think of the implications. You may not agree, but at least you aren't insulted.
The ending of "Diamond Men", for me, was somewhere between these two points.
Is the ruse Robert Forester's character pulls off at movie's end morally acceptable? It certainly is an undeniable case of comeuppance. His company is the process of demonstrating the kind of selective "institutional memory" that many boomers are experiencing first hand these days as companies are saying, "Pension? What pension?" Was his situation carefully engineered to touch base among the boomers? Even so, as carefully calibrated as the story is to deliver comeuppance to corporatist creeps, the feeling at the end is a sort of middle point.
As good as the movie is in microcosm (acting, most (not all) of the editing, well-intentioned direction), the best intentions fail to completely overcome the prime necessity of such a story; make me feel fully satisfied with Eddie's (Forester) decision to ream the suits: Keep me from leaving the theater feeling dirty.
Fact is, I was only half satisfied on this count.
This is a great movie to see for the acting; highly recommended if you're an acting student. I was totally wowed by Wahlberg. A strange little man in my head was telling me that I shouldn't like his work; that I'd be sure to find something to complain about if I watched him intently enough: And the more closely I watched him, the more I respected him. I don't know how flexible he is, but he certainly shone in this role. I get the sense that he takes direction stunningly well, and I hope to see more of him in the future.
"Diamond Men" is a slice-of-life flick about an aging traveling diamond salesman (Forster), his protege (Wahlberg), and their experiences on the road. In spite of being a good natured light drama with a heart, "Diamond Men" can't escape its amateurish screen play and obvious low budgetness as it wanders through fields of pure corn all the way to its feel good conclusion. A mildly enjoyable B-flick which should be an okay sofa spud watch if it makes it to broadcast. (C)
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