Speakeasy

"OK"

Speakeasy Review


Here's something I didn't know: Those Project Greenlight people not only made the awful Stolen Summer during that first season. They also made the runner up, a movie called Speakeasy. This one Miramax couldn't be coaxed into releasing in theaters: It arrives on DVD three years later.

Now that the Greenlight formula is well established, it comes as no surprise to find Speakeasy falling right in line with the films we've seen before. It's basically a family drama, it has elements of a period piece scattered throughout, it's got a disabled person or two, and its screenplay eventually wraps around to where things began. Simple, small, and manipulative, this is what Project Greenlight has become all about: It's the Lifetime Network of the indie cinema movement.

Speakeasy would feel right at home among Merideth Baxter Birney-in-jeopardy fare. Here's the gist: Grumpy failed magician (David Strathairn) has a fender bender with struggling pawn shop owner (Nicky Katt), leading them both to examine their lives as they become interconnected. The common bond: Strathairn's father in law (Arthur Hiller) is deaf, as is Katt's daughter. Also muddying the issue is Strathairn's wife, a grousing woman (Stacy Edwards) who refuses to see her dad, for reasons we'll discover later. As all of these sad sack characters muddle along, somehow they all come to grips with their problems and wind up happier in the end.

Unfortunately, the emotional journey each of them takes makes little sense. Never mind that car accident participants are rarely on speaking terms afterwards -- and even more rarely do they invite each other over for dinner. What's really uninspiring is the characters' personal issues. Ultimately, Strathairn and Katt's problems come down to money, a problem that's lazily solved in the end. The only one with any real growth is Edwards' snotty wife. How does she grow? An old high school pal (Christopher McDonald) pops on the scene and offers impromptu therapy sessions. When we find out why she doesn't get along with dad, it's a major letdown.

Fortunately all the players (save for Hiller, who is mercifully rendered mute by the script) are solid actors and in general they rise above this middling material. Recommended only for those who want to get their movies made by the Greenlight crew, so you can see what kind of pap they respond to.



Speakeasy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

Distributed by: Miramax

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Bruce Hickman, as Frank Marnikov, as Sophie Hickman, as Dr. Addams, as Sara Marnikov, as Gene, Michael Chieffo as Dan haney, as Dariush, Gregory White as Middle-Aged Man, as Mr. Prappas

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.