Middle aged Sy Parrish works as a technician at a one hour photo lab located in a SavMart store in a suburban mall. Sy is a lonely man, never having had any friends. He knows much about his customers through the photographs they have developed. But he knows more about the Yorkin family - specifically Nina Yorkin and her adolescent son Jake Yorkin, the two in the family who drop off and pick up the family's photofinishing - the family about whom he is obsessed, than anyone else. Nina's husband, Will Yorkin, is incidental to his obsession since Sy has only seen him in photographs. Sy's obsession includes fantasizing about being their favorite "Uncle Sy". He has even been making an extra set of prints for himself of all of their photographs since Jake was a newborn. After an incident at work and after Sy finds out more about the family through a set of photographs, he decides to right the injustices he sees in the only way he knows how. His actions demonstrate his true mental state.Written by
During the DVD commentary, director Mark Romanek stated that Jack Nicholson was up for the role of Sy before Robin Williams. This is not the first time Williams was up for a role first approached to Nicholson. When Nicholson was stalling to sign on as Joker in Batman (1989) Williams was in talks before casting was finalized. See more »
When Nina and Jake first arrive at SavMart to get the film from Jake's birthday developed, a napkin appears, disappears, then reappears in Sy's blue vest pocket. See more »
Leica... that's a really nice camera.
Really? Cuz' Bill keeps trying to get me to go digital and...
Oh no, don't do that! I'd... I'd be out of a job.
See more »
An early cut of the film had several differences than the theatrical version.
The opening Fox Searchlight logo briefly becomes a negative image as it fades out. This is obviously a reference to picture negatives.
An alternate prologue before the main titles featured a narration by Williams on the red eye effect in human's and animals, while a photo of a family with red eyes, footage of animals with this effect and video of what's happening in the eye when this happens.
There was also a scene near the end where a police detective reviews the pictures Sy took of Will & Maya at the hotel. In the theatrical version these photos were never shown and it was left in question whether they were actually taken.
The argument between Sy and the photo machine repair guy was extended.
Written by Larry Clinton
Performed by Bea Wain with the Larry Clinton Orchestra
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label, a unit of BMG Entertainment
Under license from BMG Special Products See more »
Another Example Of A Comedian Who Can Be Effectively Serious
Robin Williams once again proves how good comedians can be at serious drama roles. Williams is especially good at playing creepy characters, as he has done several times in the last decade.
Here, he plays "Sy, the photo guy," a lonely employee in the photo department of a suburban Target/Walt-Mart//K-Mart-whatever who lives vicariously through a nice family, whose family pictures he has developed and printed for years. So, when Sy discovers the husband of that family is cheating, he takes it personally....and gets involved.
This was a fascinating portrait of a deranged man and a wonderfully photographed movie. The colors in here are astounding at times and the camera-work innovative with some neat angles. The suspense of the story builds and builds one gets that old film-noir feeling of impending doom.
This has a different ending, though, than most old film noirs, not exactly what the viewer might think will happen.
This is a film that, as far I know, never got much publicity, but it's a gem. Williams is outstanding in his role and the hour-and-a-half you invest in this movie flies by.
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