This is what movie-going experience should be like. I admit, I laughed and I cried, but mostly, I just enjoyed it. The music is handled wonderfully.
I have to say that the success of the picture must be a tribute to the director and cast. The drama is handled with such delicacy and without being over-done, which would have been very easy to do. As it is, it just sits well on the mind and soul. A treat.
The film follows two close friends, Rusty (played by Hatosy) and Dallas (Caan), who call themselves `brothers' and are constantly becoming involved in bar fights, repeatedly being bailed out of jail by Rusty's mother, played by Kelly Lynch. Rusty wants to grow up but can't seem to break out of this pattern. Goldblum plays the mother's boyfriend who is a therapist and begins seeing Rusty as a favor to his mother. The obvious complications of this triangle come out early and are resolved in a very honest and truthful manner, and Goldblum gives a surprisingly fresh and satisfying performance.
The relationship of the friends is obvious from the beginning, and the fact that you see the problems coming makes them no less compelling. In fact, Caan has succeeded in something that is really quite difficult. As Dallas begins to dabble in ideas of larger crimes, we see coming the time when guns will come out (and they do), but even as it all happens he manages to keep the focus on the characters and not on the action. We care about what will happen to these flawed characters. This is a real strength of this film.
In fact, all of the performances are good here (including a nice turn by Val Lauren). And the film has the great virtue that it is evenly paced and not overly long. Caan manages the tricky task of working on both sides of the camera well, although this is definitely more a movie of characters and performances rather than a cinematic vision. The photography is effective for the story and shows some of the budget constraints, but it also does not call attention to itself. Undoubtedly Caan will develop as a director over time, but this is a very respectable first effort.