A Second-Generation Filmmaker Under the Influence

Nick Cassavetes gives She's So Lovely the old family try

The absurdity of what they are being asked to do comes to us unimpeded by the usual John Cassavetes accessories--the "raw" cinematography and joy-riding camerawork. And so the actors, in their isolation, seem doubly absurd. Robin Wright Penn is doing the Rowlands blowsy-angel bit, but she's so mannered she might be competing for Jennifer Jason Leigh's crown. Penn, perhaps to match her, piles up the mannerisms too. Travolta, who seems to be appearing in every third movie these days--is he afraid Hollywood will forget him again?--is also uncharacteristically actorish; perhaps he didn't want to be left out. He does things like say tink for think--just so we know Joey's an up-from-the-streets kind of guy.

Of the cast, only Harry Dean Stanton, playing Eddie's best friend, comes across as a recognizable human being. Stanton is amazing; I don't think I've ever seen him give a bad performance. Oblivious to the human zoo in She's So Lovely, he quietly goes his own way. His down-home resonance is more than a breath of fresh air--it's the only gulp of oxygen in the entire movie.

She's So Lovely
Directed by Nick Cassavetes.

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