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Having apparently anointed himself the American cinema's poet of decadence, filmmaker Larry Clark follows his critically acclaimedKidswith yet another tour through the darker regions of American squalor.Another Day in Paradise--even the title screams of amateurish irony--may be powerfully acted by a fine cast of new and familiar faces, but how many times can we eavesdrop on the lives of murderous, self-destructive heroin junkie thieves before we just get morosely depressed? James Woods and Melanie Griffith are superb as a pair of surrogate parents to the young couple (Vincent Kartheiser, Natasha Gregson Wagner) whom they recruit as accomplices in a series of robberies and dangerous deals, but what exactly is the point of this overindulgent, gutter-mouthed, and ultimately sickening portrait of sickening people? Clark may be good at providing an authentic vision of America's ugly underbelly, but before this movie's half over you're likely to be screaming, "Enough already!" By the time Kartheiser's character has finally escaped from his dreadful "parents," it's clear that Clark has very little story to tell, and not much of it is really worth telling. As for why Woods's character gets such a kick out of saying "Boo-Yah!"--well, your guess is as good as ours.--Jeff Shannon
Impressed James Woods and Melanie Griffith play junkie thieves who deal with some pretty shady characters. They take under their wings a teenage street punk and his girlfriend who are not as tough as they pretend to be. After having fun for a short time, the kids want out when it gets a little too real.
It's a violent movie and not for the squeamish. But for people who can handle the grittiness it is a gripping and mind grabbing story. The acting by all four is superb. Of course James Woods is excellent when he plays an intense bad guy. Melanie Griffith is believable as Woods gun moll with a heart.
Disturbing crime/drug romp has more depth than given credit for Director Larry Clark has a knack for penetrating the lost hopes and dreams of the young adult. He also has a knack for discovering talented young artists for his films. In the case of 'Another Day In Paradise', he also offers up James Woods (who always plays sleazy to a T) and Melanie Griffith (who gives her best performance on film in this movie).
Young lovers, Bobbie (Vincent Kartheiser) and Rosie (Natasha Gregson Wagnor) live in a flea-hole, using drugs and getting by on Bobbie's petty theft. Bobbie runs into serious trouble while pilfering coins from snack machines, and "Uncle Mel" is called in to treat his injuries. Mel (James Woods) takes a shine to Bobbie, and brings him up a notch in the world, from petty theft to big-time burglary. Bobbie and Rosie take off with Mel and his long-time girlfriend Sid (Melanie Griffith), riding in a nice car, shopping for new clothes, and eating good meals in restaurants.
Mel masterminds a burglary on a medical office, and the foursome are now in business. While business is good for a while, all good things must come to an end. When one of the drug deals goes wrong, the foursome flees to the residence of The Reverend (James Otis). (Look for Clark's usual suspect Leo Fitzpatrick in a bit role as The Reverend's gate guard)
The relationship between Mel&Sid, and Bobbie&Rosie begins to fall apart, though Mel&Sid have been like parents to the younger couple. Mel wants one more big hit, but he is becoming more and more unstable. Rosie's drug use has deteriorated from snorting to spiking. At this point, as the foursome begins to turn on each other, you are left to wonder just who will be left standing in the end.
I was surprised, but pleased, at the violence in this film; I wasn't expecting it. For some reason, I thought the film would be milder, with less action. You will be surprised by the quality of the script and the amazing acting from the four main characters. Look for a small role from Lou Diamond Phillips as Jewels, an overtly gay and violent character. This is most likely Phillips best performance.
My only real complaint with the movie was the lack of subtitles (English or other languages) on the Director's. Other than that, look forward to a faster pace than 'Spun' and more violence than 'Salton Sea'. Enjoy! The Best Larry Clark Film Larry Clark is probably best known for the film "Kids". Clark has only directed four films. "Kids", this film, "Bully", and "Ken Park" the latter was banned in America. This is probably his least known film, odd because it has the most recognizable actors of any of his previous movies. Also, I've seen "Kids"&"Bully" and this is easily my favorite of those. "Kids" had a really good message; "Bully" was entertaining and informative. This movie is really a mixture of "Kids" and "Bonnie&Clyde" and happens to be extremely entertaining. The movie is about two lovers named Bobbie&Rosie (Vincent Kartheiser&Natasha Gregson Wagner) who are each about 15 or 16 years old. They live in a run down apartment with a few other people and manage to survive because Bobbie robs vending machines. But then, a couple of crooks named Mel&Sid (James Woods&Melanie Griffith) take them under their wing and take them to the big time. Well, their version of the big time. Which means stealing speed from a doctor and then selling it. Meanwhile, Rosie is pregnant and still smoking/drinking/using. This movie, like kids, is really a raw no-holds-barred look at the life of these people. Clark has never been a director who's worried about what's socially acceptable. Which is why his films have such an impact and are all so good. This movie held my attention completely and was never dull. It's also a movie you can watch more times after, which I don't really feel "Kids" was. James Woods (who also co-produced the movie) is absolutely spectacular. I think his performance (for which he recieved almost no attention or awards for) was better than the Oscar winner for 1998 Roberto Benigni was. Woods litereally keeps you watching. Griffith was good, but not standout. Kartheiser&Wagner were believable in their roles as the two young lovers Bobbie&Rosie, but these kind of performances aren't just about being believable but also about being able to get sympathy from the viewer which both of them do. All of the characters are well written, the dialouge is great. "The Flinstones" joke (and delivery) was hilarious. This movie is truly an experience and really an important movie that you shouldn't pass up.