CANT BE HEAVEN
Can't Be Heaven sets out to be a film about growing up in an Italian-American neighbourhood. As such, the filmmakers at least create a detailed and clearly personal vision of such a childhood. However, the results make for a thoroughly insipid film. The sincerity of the Coming of Age tale and childhood portrait is crippled by banal direction and colourless photography. Moreover, the story, while it clearly sets out to tell a very personal story, is never really about anything the film never develops anything that could be construed as a plot. The film ends on a fantastique supernatural note, one that draws upon an old-fashioned sentimentalism and comes ladled with treacle in director Richard Friedmans hands.
The cast of semi-recognisable faces includes Matt McCoy; Rachel Ticotin as the mother; an unrecognisable Ralph Macchio, once The Karate Kid (1984), as the ghostly saxophonist; Michelle Trachtenberg, later to become a regular on tvs Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) as the girl-next-door love interest; and Diane Ladd, who gives a performance of forced affectations as the cliche of an Italian matriarch.
Director Richard Friedman has dabbled in genre cinema a number of times before with low-budget films like Doom Asylum (1987), Scared Stiff/The Masterson Curse (1987), Phantom of the Mall: Erics Revenge (1989), Ground Zero (2000), Dark Wolf (2003) and Born (2007).
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