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No Looking Back (1998)
By a Northeasterner, for Northeasterners.
(I must first preface this review by admitting that I am from a northeastern town similar).
After reading some of the reviews here and seeing the movie recently on IFC, I feel that this movie is a little misunderstood.
First of all, this movie was not made for everyone. By that I mean that Edward Burns is speaking to a specific segment here. This is a story of everyday life in a working class small Northeastern town. He recreates the ENTIRE environment: groups of people that graduated highschool together and never left, the gossip, the one and only social hangout, all the intrigue and interconnected people, the way they talk and interact with each other, and even the music they like to listen to (there are a couple Bruce Springsteen songs mixed into the soundtrack).
After creating this dead on environment, he tells the story. This is where a lot of people here have had problems. Burns shows the monotony of everyday life in this town. I mean, he ACTUALLY shows it on camera: people going to their jobs, talking about mundane stuff, etc. Things that other directors would have merely mentioned through dialogue or other means.
This is done for a reason: Burns is trying to put you in this town. As if you are one of those who has been trapped here. He makes an attempt to show you these things so that you'll understand the character's desires to leave.
And if you've spent any time in one of these towns, you will understand EXACTLY what he is trying to say. Sorry to say, it's a sort realistic movie. The characters are imperfect, they do dumb things. The awkwardly and badly tell lies to each other. They like normal people.
Other than that, I could have done without Bon Jovi. He showed no range of emotions (if my girlfriend stayed out with another guy until 5 a.m., I would think my voice would show a little more inflection at least).
Anyway, if you are from this area and want to "go home again", rent this movie. If you aren't and want to see what it's like, see this movie.
If you liked any major blockbuster this year, pass.