Mass Appeal

This film is not only 30 Years On, it may be closer to 50 years on. In other words, it may only be tolerable to those who are old enough to remember when movies were stories and character rather than spectacle and visuals. There is not a special effects shot, a digital insert, or any type of sound effect worth noting anywhere in this film. Based on a play by the same title, it features two characters and for the most part, they are the only people to attend to. On stage, there were only two parts, in adapting for the screen a couple of other roles were created but they are mostly superfluous. This is an actors piece, paced a a glacial rate that will bore anyone born after 1970. If you have a older persons sensibility, there is probably enough here to be interesting, as long as listening to people talk will entertain you.

mass_appealThe two stars are veteran Jack Lemmon and newcomer Zeljko Ivanek. Mr. Lemmon was a movie star for thirty years before this came out and remained one until his death in 2001. Mr. Ivanek is not a star but he has worked consistently since this came out and he is one of those faces you will recognize from a dozen movies and hundreds of TV episodes. Together they do justice to a piece that is small scale, and very clearly theatrical in it’s roots.

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The Flamingo Kid

Yes, I’m back. I never really left, I have just been going through a lot of adjustments in my life (including a new puppy and a retired spouse), so I have not gotten to the dozen or so films on my original list as quickly as I had hoped to. There is a little more time available here in the summer, so I’m going to continue to stretch out the project and hope that it will not be six months between posts in the future. I return to 30 Years On with a movie that should have been a summer release but actually debuted at Christmas time.


The Flamingo Kid” is a coming of age story set in the Summer of 1963. Jeffery Willis is a recent high school graduate, very smart but from a working class background and unsure of where he is headed in life. His father, played by Hector Elizando when he still had some hair, wants him to go to college, preferably Columbia, and become an engineer. Like most teens, Jeffery resists doing the thing his father wants and explores some other options. His friends from the old neighborhood take him to their beach club one day and things begin to change right there.

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