No, it's NOT Midnight Cowboy -- thank god!
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This curious little film does not have to pretend, as did Midnight Cowboy, that street hustling is 'straight'. We've come that far in 30 years, at least: the leads' sexuality does not have to be so understated as to be non-existent! But it does takes a couple of viewings to appreciate it. Mystical and religious overtones abound, and every name has a significance: the lead character is named 'John' (David Arquette) and he keeps meeting other Johns, (a St. John, and street johns). It is Christmas Eve. John's birthday is Christmas Day and his dream of 'heaven' is to spend the night at the elegant Park Plaza Hotel, where he encounters a wise desk-clerk named 'Paul' who calls him 'Mr. John' and treats him with true kindness and respect. John needs $300 for his night in heaven and has stolen money from a drug dealer. 'Donner' (Lukas Haas) is homeless, and in love with John. His dream is for them to get to 'Camelot' (a theme park in Branson MO where they can have jobs). Only one of them makes it to Camelot. The accompanying score is beautiful and soulful, with music ranging from Gregorian Chant to Arvo Part to Jessie Mae Robinson. A touching film, nicely done."
Gritty. Darkly Disturbing. Heavy.
Sandi Strehlau | Seattle, WA USA | 06/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I decided to let this film sink in a little before writing a review for it.
Let me start by saying: This film is much darker than you may think considering it's star is a goof-ball with the majority of his other acting roles.This is not a Comedy.
And it is not for the weak stomached.The Jesus Metaphore throughout was a bit much at times...but worked very well with the story.
You MUST see the DVD for the extras. I watched the film then immediantly watched the David and Lucas commentary throughout the film. (DON'T WATCH THE TRAILER OR THE COMMENTARY BEFORE YOU SEE THE FILM...IT GIVES AWAY TOO MUCH).VERY GOOD...A Flick that Sticks With You."
Endlessly Relentlessly Downbeat, BUT Way Too True to be Miss
DAS SKY LYCANTHROPE | Baltimore, Maryland USA | 11/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
Granted this movie suffers many of the perils any low budget flick must endure. Bad sound horrible lighting and a little more predictability than I generally like in a good film. Yet this is a good film. Yes it is utterly a downbeat film with very little sunshine and hope in it. However walking the streets of any big city you see the clones of each of the individuals protrayed in this film. The cleaseless never ending parade of tired burned out haggered youth on the stroll hunting for that next "Date".
You sit eating your danish reading the morning paper insolated in the cacoon of middle class bliss and listen to those youth talk a few booths over at a fast food resturant. Go there each morning for coffee and you hear how these hardened urchins cling to a clutch of tattered pie in the sky pipe dreams each more unrealistic than the last. You look at their arms and see evidence of the losing game they play with drugs and worse. If you eat in a place often enough soon comes a day when one of the regulars comes in beaten bloody bandaged if he is lucky having survived a date gone wrong. I work in a clean nice safe office as a computer geek one floor up and one trillion miles away from the horrid depraved street life people like those protrayed in this film call home every day.
Is this film a downer I guess maybe it is if you wanted a happy sugar coated hollywood ending. While I have never been homeless or on the stroll selling myself I have helped people who have known and lived this ugly world 24-7. From my vantage point I see very little about the world of male prostitutes, drugs and street life that is redeeming light and fun which is what this movie shows. The end of Johns sports a grim operatic quality traggic victory hard won and blood drenched such that it is in my jaded middle classed eyes hardly a victory at all. On the streets even tiny scraps of joy no matter how hard they are to come by are so very precious and that is the real message of this movie. Look at this movie and learn to be thankful for your many blessings because some among us honesty do have so very little in life that a pair of Lucky Sneaks can be the only reason to cling to hope. I know enough about life to understand that if man's hope dies when he lives on the streets his body soon leads him to the grave."
Closer to life than most would like
S. Roy | Oklahoma City, Ok United States | 07/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone want to catch a glimpse of what happens to kids who are neglected or rejected by their families? Then you need to check out this movie. While incredibly tame compared to real life, it at least takes the average "john" into a pseudo world of the streets, and the actors are excellent in their roles. I have watched this movie SEVERAL times and have cried at the end each time. While I agree that it is a dramatic close-to-life rendition, and many want a fantasy world in which to escape when watching a movie, it also has a great message, one which you must find for yourself. I believe this is why no other character has a background, save the one, so that each viewer can find themselves in one of the characters. I love David Arquette in this movie...he reminds me a lot of a close personal friend.
Oh, yea, and most of them don't work because they have been on the streets since a very young age. They have few skills, no address or phone number, and perhaps are even a bit scared. My advice, watch this without the rose colored glasses."