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Olivier De Beumont
Jim McKay ("Our Song", "Girls Town") directs this provocative yet optimistic slice-of-life film set in Brooklyn, which recently premiered on HBO.
Covering the events of one long day in the lives of several people in and around a popular neighborhood restaurant that is set to shut its doors soon, "Everyday People" is pretty much all talk. But like "Smoke", another character-driven, slice-of-life film set in Brooklyn (and one of my all-time favorite movies), the talk is fascinating, and the characters' stories weave together in a way that is truly satisfying.
Someone once said (I think it may have been Gene Siskel, but I'm really not sure) that the true test of a good movie is whether it feels like the characters were alive before the movie started and go on living after it ends. Well, "Everyday People" passes that test with flying colors. Though there are far too many characters for each of them to be fully developed, this is an extremely well-written and acted film, and each character feels very real.
Also, McKay deserves credit for not tying up the film with a pretty bow. It ends on a note that feels good, but he leaves several characters' destinies up in the air. After all, most problems aren't solved in a day, and it's nice that McKay understands that.
An added bonus: it features lots of new music by one of America's most brilliant and underappreciated singer-songwriters, Marc Anthony Thompson, a.k.a. Chocolate Genius (pick up 1998's "Black Music" if you need proof).
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