Johnnie feels a lot of pressure lately. He's the foreman on his uncle's construction crew, and money seems to be going astray. His girlfriend begins pressuring him for more of a commitment ...
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Johnnie feels a lot of pressure lately. He's the foreman on his uncle's construction crew, and money seems to be going astray. His girlfriend begins pressuring him for more of a commitment and so does his new boyfriend. To top it off, he's started sleepwalking, and he doesn't know why.Written by
I had a little bit of a hard time watching this film because of the storyline. It's realistic and brutal in some aspects, but not too violent or seedy as I know other films are. What I ended up feeling is pity, sadness, and hope for the main character, Johnnie, an Irish immigrant to the US living in New York City. Although which part of the city he lives in is not clear, the opening credits show the #9 train (now almost defunct I think since this was filmed in 1997/98) so it may be the Bronx.
Anyway, this is a gritty drama revolving around Johnnie. He works in the construction business for an Uncle who tends to be the catalyst for a majority of the problems and issues in the story. It becomes evident to the viewer early on that Johnnie has slight sexuality issues which, in drunken states, he sometimes has delved into being with men as well as women, oh, and he has a girlfriend who we meet right away.
During one of these drunken, drug fueled nights, and there are quite a few of them, Johnnie meets the one person who, for me, represents the only bit of salvation for him in the film. The character of Christian, a young hustler, comes along and shows Johnnie some much needed compassion and care and the experience is likewise reciprocated later on in the story. As we watch Johnnie's continual descent into the bitter realities of a life of booze and drugs, and his struggle to find himself, we hope that somehow he and Christian will save each other from their individual hells.
This is the first film directed/written/starring the lead fellow Jimmy Smallhorne, and I think it is a very good first time venture. I've seen tons of films by first time directors and this one was rather well done for the budget considered. Granted, Mr. Smallhorne is not a model type to look at, he has his moments, that being his rough demeanor and appearance, and I truly believed him as an actor. There is a particular scene on the floor of a club that made me look away from the screen and wish I could have been there to help him. The story, also written by Smallhorne is very straightforward and the seemingly 'confusing' bits of flashback do have a denouement at the end of the film. The other pity is that Smallhorne only has this film to his writing/directing credit, but it is a strong one, in my opinion.
If the viewer doesn't expect senseless pap or eye candy of a film placed usually in the gay section, but is willing to invest into a realistic drama with an edge, you will be hopefully pleased. In the end, it conveys situations that do happen. It's the story of a man's battle with his inner demons, which lead him to find that sometime's the people we become in life are in part influenced by someone else, welcomed or forced upon us.
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