I saw this movie in a great old movie palace at the Golden Door Film Festival in Jersey City. I knew nothing about it going in and just loved it. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much, it felt like a real discovery. The director, indie icon John Gallagher, who has directed two bonafide indie classics, The Deli and Blue Moon, and has discovered many famous actors, gets wonderful performances from his cast and masterfully tells the story at breakneck speed (great editing), slowing down only for a couple of incredibly moving scenes between father and son, and mother and daughter. There isn't a wasted frame or an ounce of fat in this movie, unlike so much Hollywood and even indie fare today. The clever script concerns party animal John who works for the family print business. When his dad gjves him an ultimatum to get the business in shape in 3 months or else, John starts attending networking sessions. Much of the comedy comes in during these scenes as he encounters a psycho feminist, a high priced call girl, and an increasingly wacky group of characters, including an hilarious turn by Stephen Baldwin in one of the best things he's done in a long time, channeling his brother Alec. I was super impressed by the acting in The Networker; Gallagher knows how to get the best out of his cast. Steve Stanulis who plays John is a total natural and is surely on the way to bigger things. He's in almost every scene and carries the movie like a real star. William Forsythe as his dad is fantastic; it's great to see him playing a loving role instead of his usual Al Capone/Boardwalk Empire villain. As the Italian mama, beautiful Sean Young is wonderful and has some really funny moments. The caliber of talent is high for such an indie film – Alysia Reiner (Fig from Orange is the New Black), Jeremy Luke from Don Jon and The Jersey Boys, Al Sapienza from House of Cards and The Sopranos, Joe D'Onofrio (the young Joe Pesci in Goodfellas), and Deborah Twiss (the hot school teacher from the first few minutes of Kick-Ass), among others. Special applause goes to Philip Moon (the Jackie Treehorn henchman who pees on Jeff Bridges' floor in The Big Lebowski) as a Yiddish-speaking Jewish-Asian-American businessman who befriends John. While it's not an elaborate film, The Networker is way better than a lot of bigger movies out there, and better than most indies. I also loved all the bloopers and outtakes they put into the end credits. The movie totally delivers entertainment and even gives you something to think about without hitting you over the head. Highly recommended and I give it a "10" rating.
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