Written & Directed By: Morgan J. Freeman
Cinematography: Enrique Chediak
Editor: Sabine Hoffman
Cast: Brendan Sexton III, Mtume Gant, Carlo Alban, Edie Falco, Lynn Cohen, Shawn Elliott, Adrian Grenier, L.M. Kit Carson, Isidra Vega, Jose Zuniga, Heather Matarazzo, David Moscow
A teenage petty criminal dreams of escaping his increasingly unlawful lifestyle when he meets a sweet girl who hopes to one day travel to Alaska.
This film comes across like a well Made student thesis film. Made all the more gritty for a more realistic feel and street credibility and for the film’s reputation. It comes across simple enough.
The film Has a central love story that is what helped sell the film. That romance actually stays very sweet and innocent. Actually, it’s the only part of the film that feels pure and natural making the film more endearing.
The film starts off with a strong opening though slowly gets duller. As the main character seems to get continuously plain red into a corner and tries his best to get out.
The film’s mindset stays juvenile and onto wales up to stone-cold reality towards the end. Which might be understandable as most of the characters are teens kids really. So we follow them.
How else do you explain that the crew couldn’t tell they had a snake in their midst. As well as a snitch. Though by the end you do feel a certain sympathy for all involved.
The recurring theme of the darts game feels silly and only later it’s importance is revealed.
This seems like the typical Sundance film festival youth crime story that was popular at the time that promised to show the grit that was going down but comes off softer than expected.
The film has an ambiguous ending that is clearly is inspired by THE GRADUATE. As both characters are hopeful but have nowhere to go. Only she doesn’t know it yet. She also stays the only innocent character throughout the whole film As she has done Nothing to deserve her troubles.
She already has to deal with an overbearing father. Who starts out a villain and then turns into a victim.
I remember loving this film when it first came out. Even watching it twice in theaters. Watching it today it’s a film that is very of its time period and doesn’t necessarily age well. Like an embarrassing photo from your youth that brings back memories but also feels a little embarrassed of.
Unfortunately, after that strong opening, we see the rest of the scene play out towards the end that more comes across as a desperate comedy of errors.
The film achieved certain popularity at the time due to a hit song that was featured on the soundtrack SEX & CANDY by Marcy Playground.
I try not to bad mouth it put down any films especially independent ones that have a hard enough time trying to find an audience in the first place.
This is the type of film that was praised as strong and authentic at the time though does feel like a film made for teens made by one of them, again at the time
In the end, the film ties into a carefree youth whereas most of the characters are poorer so that they base their decisions and behavior more on that and have bigger repercussions but more are doing things to fun as well as survival.