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No Looking Back (1998)
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Review Date: April 19, 1998
Director: Edward Burns
Writer: Edward Burns
Producers: Edward Burns, Ted Hope, Michael Nozik
Actors:
Edward Burns as Charlie
Lauren Holly as Claudia
Jon Bon Jovi as Michael
Plot:
Charlie (Burns) returns to his hometown after three years away, and wants to patch things up with his ex-girlfriend Claudia (Holly). Unfortunately for him, Claudia has been living with Michael (Bon Jovi), a childhood friend of Charlie's, for those three years, and doesn't know exactly what to do. The dilemma she faces is the crux of this film.
Critique:
Nice little character study that revolves around the feelings of friends, lovers and family. Enjoyable enough, but not enough meat in which to grind your viewer teeth. The characters and actors in the movie were all very believable and interesting to watch, with Jon Bon Jovi beginning to show some real signs of a thespian in the making. Holly had never really impressed me before, but does a decent job with the task that she's been assigned in this film.
The movie's plot is not the most original in the world, in that it deals with people asking themselves the proverbial question or whether or not they should leave their hometown for opportunities elsewhere, and whether or not one could ever really come home again (done much better in BEAUTIFUL GIRLS (9/10), but then again, Hollywood hasn't exactly bent over backwards to conceive many new theatrical ideas over the past few years. Other than that, the little town is very quaint and shows extreme signs of "the comfortable life" for many of its satisfied inhabitants, while also demonstrating the lack of ambition or foresight in many of those same people.

The soundtrack was fine (but can someone please tell Bruce Springsteen to stop playing on soundtracks!!), as was the length of the picture. On the down side, no memorable scenes made it onto this cinematic menu, and there was one too many montage shots with music in the background (usually a sign of a weak script). Two little things did bug me a bit. One, there is one major continuity error during one of the pivotal emotional scenes, in which Holly is bawling her eyes out one second, dry another, and then blubbering the next. Somewhat distracting. Also, and much more irritating, was the fact that every single character seems to be drinking a beer or taking a smoke in every single scene in this movie. I mean, it's incredible!! Does anybody really drink a Budweiser in a laundry mat, for God's sakes?!?! Oh well. Overall, the movie is nice to watch with your "significant other", so that you could ponder the "what would you do's" after it's finished, but not much more than that.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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