Video Picks Archive
This week my picks are Outside Providence (1999 - ) and American Graffiti (1973 - ).
The first film this week is based on the novel by Peter Farrelly,
who wrote and directed Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and
There's Something About Mary with his brother, Bobby.
It's about a teenage boy from Rhode Island (Shawn Hatosy), who gets
sent to a private boarding school in Connecticut after a run-in
with the law. The cast includes Alec Baldwin as his abrasive
working-class father, and Amy Smart as the intelligent rich girl
he falls for in school. Outside Providence provides the
expected laughs from a Farrelly script, but also has some good
moments of insight -- with the help of director Michael Corrente
As Outside Providence is a nostalgic look at teenage life in the 1970s from the 1990s, the second film looks back at 1962 from the 1970s. American Graffiti was George Lucas' first studio film, and it heralded the entrance of a new cinematic genius. He took the stories of several teenagers spending the last night of summer vacation, and weaved them together brilliantly. It was Richard Dreyfuss' star-making moment, and great early work from Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Kathleen Quinlan, Suzanne Somers, and Harrison Ford (who ironically did not become a star until well after Star Wars). Ron Howard (already a star) rode the success of this film into "Happy Days", which capitalized on the subsequent nostalgia craze. Most impressive about this film is the score, which is a non-stop stream of hit records from the period. Least impressive would be its 1979 sequel: More American Graffiti.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Outside Providence (1999)
American Graffiti (1973)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2000 Matt Heffernan