Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall, 1955. Racial integration comes to the high school, TV is killing burlesque, and ... See full summary »
A high school valedictorian who gets baked with the local stoner finds himself the subject of a drug test. The situation causes him to concoct an ambitious plan to get his entire graduating class to face the same fate, and fail.
What kind of movies do you prefer, the ones with the sad endings or the happy ones?
The sad ones definitely. I like movies that make me cry.
Then you're with the right guy.
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Proposals aside, once again, Brody proves why he deserved his Oscar (and that kiss from Halle Berry). He gives a beautiful, touching performance here as a charming, rakish, snakeskin-jacket-wearing con artist who falls in love with a girl from the right side of the tracks. Jack Grace is no ordinary sleazeball, though. He keeps a secret storage unit seperate from the apartment he shares with his partner-in-crime Charlie (Jon Seda), where he keeps first editions of classic novels (he has a penchant for Melville) and works on his own novel. In other words, he's exactly the kind of bad boy that would attract intellectual Claire (Charlotte Ayanna), a beautiful, unstable biology major at Columbia. Claire tells him she likes movies best that make her cry, and he does his best to oblige her, ultimately sending her on a self-destructive bender that makes him look like a good boy.
Brody carries this film, and the lovely Charlotte Ayanna is unfortunately not given nearly as much to work with. She spends most of her time alternating between trying to change him (we all know how well that works), and having hysterics, and then finally goes on to attempt to prove that she can exist in his world and take the kinds of risks that he gets off on. The romance between the two is not well-developed at the beginning, either, so though we see plenty in him that makes us believe she loves him, we don't see what has gone on between them. Brody, however, makes up the slack in the script with every shot of his wonderfully expressive eyes. He is the walking, talking answer to the question, "Why do good girls like bad boys?"
Unfortunately, this film only had a limited engagement at the Starz Film Center, and as far as I know, does not have any wider distribution. This is a shame, particularly after Brody's Oscar win this year, and I hope that this will change and that more people will get to see this movie and see one of the most talented actors of his generation in action.
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