Saturday, March 31, 2012

West of Eden

SPOILER ALERT. Some movies like All Fall Down are just doomed to obscurity, especially in our icon-centric internet consciousness of today. But I dare say that, as being part of a family myself once, I found it quite moving. The acting is top notch, and the writing is downright insightful. This is one of those movies where the author is knee deep in the action, like Wonder Boys or The Caine Mutiny. And even though All Fall Down is a bit off-off Broadway in terms of the big icon guns, you can rest assured that it's got a fine pedigree, as the author James Leo Herlihy is also responsible for Midnight Cowboy.
Here, the author surrogate is Clinton Willart, who spends the days chronicled in the movie away from school, and constantly filling notebooks with overheard dialogue. As fine a setup to establish the film's authenticity. We begin the proceedings with the following establishing episode: Clinton's traveling to Louisiana to find his brother Berry-Berry, played by the young Warren Beatty. And while Berry-Berry is a dashing young man with a strange name whom all ladies young and old instantly fall in love with, he's a bit deficient in the character traits that make up a lifelong husband. Clinton ends up bailing Berry-Berry out of jail, and Berry-Berry ends up sending Clinton home with some money he gets out of a rich woman in a bar. Clinton's hopes of sharing an adventure with his bad boy brother will have to wait.
Then, the plot thickens. Enter the dame: Echo O'Brien. She's just about twice as old as Clinton: she's 31 and he's 16. (Clinton gives the numbers at one point) Still, a romance blossoms between this unlikely pair. We see Berry-Berry slowly making his way home, and sure enough... Berry-Berry and Echo eventually link up. Even though the plot may be a tad predictable, the actors make it fascinating to watch. I wouldn't dream of giving any more away!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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