Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Just 45 Minutes from Broadway

Self-indulgent drama in which braying actors spout utter twaddle about the Thea-tah.

Oct 17, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1365218-45_Minutes_Broadway_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Henry Jaglom strains to be Anton Chekhov for the Millennium in Just 45 Minutes from Broadway, a would-be love letter to theatre actors which just could make you loathe the entire profession. He takes his always in-your-face muse, Tana Frederick, and casts her front and center as Pandora, an unemployed actress who seeks refuge at the country home of her thespian parents, George (Jack Heller) and Vivien (Diane Salinger). Even more actors congregate there: Uncle Larry (David Proval, snore-worthy) and family friend Sally (Harriet Schock, with the worst Southern accent since Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias). They are all windy, whimsical bores, endlessly reminiscing and hamming away happily, when Pandora’s theatre-averse sister Betsy (Julie Davis, ultra-snippy) arrives with her real-estate salesman fiancé James (Judd Nelson, who must be desperate for work these days).

“Civilians!” is the war cry heard often here, referring to non-showbiz folk, and coming from Jaglom’s pen it has a tiresome, heavy-handed, juvenile, exclusive ring to it. At one point, a dreary George bemoans his having come up through the ranks with talents like directors John Frankenheimer and Sidney Lumet, who never cast him, and watching Robert De Niro and Al Pacino pass him by while he had to remain a minor character actor. Tears pouring down her face, Vivien brays her unstinting support of and respect for him. “You managed to change a life!” she cries (without specifying exactly whose). “That’s enough!”

Many more tears are shed in this completely self-indulgent morass. Nobody here exhibits anything like the talent or charisma which would warrant anyone’s interest in them, let alone an entire theatre audience. And then there’s Frederick, who delivers an unredeemably grotesque performance which hits one of many low points when she arrives late for a family dinner, filthy from having been in a swamp watching bullfrogs mate, which she describes in excruciating detail. Her character’s name, often shortened to “Panda,” recalls the similarly monickered Renee Taylor, also playing a talentless actress in Made for Each Other (1970), a film which had all of the winsome charm and humor Jaglom so lacks here.


Film Review: Just 45 Minutes from Broadway

Self-indulgent drama in which braying actors spout utter twaddle about the Thea-tah.

Oct 17, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1365218-45_Minutes_Broadway_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Henry Jaglom strains to be Anton Chekhov for the Millennium in Just 45 Minutes from Broadway, a would-be love letter to theatre actors which just could make you loathe the entire profession. He takes his always in-your-face muse, Tana Frederick, and casts her front and center as Pandora, an unemployed actress who seeks refuge at the country home of her thespian parents, George (Jack Heller) and Vivien (Diane Salinger). Even more actors congregate there: Uncle Larry (David Proval, snore-worthy) and family friend Sally (Harriet Schock, with the worst Southern accent since Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias). They are all windy, whimsical bores, endlessly reminiscing and hamming away happily, when Pandora’s theatre-averse sister Betsy (Julie Davis, ultra-snippy) arrives with her real-estate salesman fiancé James (Judd Nelson, who must be desperate for work these days).

“Civilians!” is the war cry heard often here, referring to non-showbiz folk, and coming from Jaglom’s pen it has a tiresome, heavy-handed, juvenile, exclusive ring to it. At one point, a dreary George bemoans his having come up through the ranks with talents like directors John Frankenheimer and Sidney Lumet, who never cast him, and watching Robert De Niro and Al Pacino pass him by while he had to remain a minor character actor. Tears pouring down her face, Vivien brays her unstinting support of and respect for him. “You managed to change a life!” she cries (without specifying exactly whose). “That’s enough!”

Many more tears are shed in this completely self-indulgent morass. Nobody here exhibits anything like the talent or charisma which would warrant anyone’s interest in them, let alone an entire theatre audience. And then there’s Frederick, who delivers an unredeemably grotesque performance which hits one of many low points when she arrives late for a family dinner, filthy from having been in a swamp watching bullfrogs mate, which she describes in excruciating detail. Her character’s name, often shortened to “Panda,” recalls the similarly monickered Renee Taylor, also playing a talentless actress in Made for Each Other (1970), a film which had all of the winsome charm and humor Jaglom so lacks here.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Time is Illmatic
Film Review: Nas: Time is Illmatic

Intended as the portrait of an artist as a young man, the music doc Time Is Illmatic is actually more interesting as a look back at the place and time that created him. More »

The Decent One
Film Review: The Decent One

A behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the Nazi regime’s most fearsome executioners. More »

The Two Faces of January
Film Review: The Two Faces of January

Good pulp yarn about three disparate Americans—an aging con man, his lovely young wife, and an impetuous tour guide—who meet their destiny among the ancient ruins of Greece. More »

Tazza 2: The Hidden Card
Film Review: Tazza 2: The Hidden Card

Wildly entertaining and kaleidoscopic, this sequel to a Korean hit is strictly aces. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Equalizer Review
Film Review: The Equalizer

Former agent is drawn out of hiding to fight a Russian gang in a reboot of the 1980s television series. More »

The Boxtrolls
Film Review: The Boxtrolls

Another amazingly meticulous and stylish stop-motion tale from the Laika studio, this time focusing on a boy adopted by a population of maligned underground trolls. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here