Ray and his good friends grew up in their working class neighbourhood. Ray is a salesman but dreams of something more: he wants his own business, and wants to marry his childhood sweetheart...
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Ray and his good friends grew up in their working class neighbourhood. Ray is a salesman but dreams of something more: he wants his own business, and wants to marry his childhood sweetheart Jo. In order to fulfill his dreams, Ray takes out a loan which is well beyond the re-payments he can make on his meagre income. His friends get dragged into the fall-out when he can't keep up with payments, but will they stand by him or has he pushed them too far this time?
Call It NOTHING TO LOSE, Call It TEN BENNY, or Call It Derivative
This kitchen sink drama directed and co-written by Eric Bross of RESTAURANT fame follows a group of boyhood pals from suburban New Jersey -- chiefly charismatic Adrien Brody as Ray, a young shoe salesman (the original title, TEN BENNY, is shoe store slang for size 10B, supposedly the size one time customer Paul Newman wears) whose overestimation of his own sharpness leads to gambling debts, p***ed-off loan sharks, and overall misery. The film is as realistic as it is glum and predictable. I felt like I was watching a documentary about younger contemporary versions of my gambler/bookie dad and his goombah pals. I knew the film was striking a chord when, despite Brody's cocky charm and good looks therein, I spent much of the film smirking, shaking my head, and muttering, `Dumbass!' every time Ray made another bad judgment call or generally acted like a jerk. Still, despite its better moments, this story is nothing that folks like Martin Scorsese haven't done earlier and more powerfully. NOTHING TO LOSE (not to be confused with the 1997 Tim Robbins/Martin Lawrence flick) is worth a look primarily if you're a Brody fan and/or an aficionado of Italian-American angst, and you happen to stumble across this one on cable. (I find it interesting, though, that writer/director Bross went on to direct ON THE LINE with those two N'Sync guys.)
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