Joseph Franquinha

Joseph Franquinha

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Just Looking Review


Weak

Here's another cliché-riddled caper about a Jewish kid coming of age in 1950s New York. This boy's name is Lenny. He's 14 and his singular mission for the summer before 9th grade is to watch two grown-ups do it.

He had a scheme to watch his mom (Patti LuPone) with her new husband, the sweaty neighborhood butcher (Richard V. Licata). But when Lenny is packed off for three months in Queens with his aunt and uncle (Ilana Levine and Peter Onorati), he makes a discovery beyond his wildest dreams: The next door neighbor is a breathtakingly beautiful nurse named Hedy (the breathtakingly beautiful Gretchen Mol) and a former bra model with an active sex life. And her bedroom window faces an empty lot of overgrown grass -- perfect to hide in with binoculars.

Directed by Jason Alexander (you know, George on "Seinfeld"), seemingly from some kind of do-it-yourself kit, the very first shot in the movie is a camera sweep of a Bronx street packed with every stereotypical Eisenhower era image the director could muster. The walls of Lenny's room are covered with baseball team pennants and pictures, all hanging at angles mathematically calculated to inspire the maximum of nostalgia. The picture's production design is like a Norman Rockwell painting run amok.

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Here's another cliché-riddled caper about a Jewish kid coming of age in 1950s New York....

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