An Overlooked Gem
S. Kelly | Gainesville, FL United States | 10/20/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film, "Nailed", is one of those great (yet sad) examples today of a film that is worthy of major theatrical/commercial attention being brushed aside to the direct-to-video category so the major distributors and multiplex chains can make more room for popcorn, action fare. It is hardly a "B-Movie", but rather, is a smart, funny, touching character study that, had it been made 25-30 years ago, would probably be considered a minor masterpiece. It tells the story of Jeff (Brad Rowe), a young aspiring screenwriter whose brief, torrid affair with an extremely troubled young woman (Rachel Blanchard) leads to permanent, lasting consequences in the form of an unplanned baby. This causes much distress in Jeff's close-knit, Jewish-Italian family in NYC, especially his well-meaning, but overbearing father (Harvey Keitel,as always, in a brilliant performance), who is the patriarch of this tight clan. Yet, at every obstacle, Jeff faces his responsibilities dead-on (a true rarity these days!). Jeff, ultimately must learn to take care of his child and deal, simultaneously, with his family's objections. The film is really about unconditional love and resposibility even when neither are convenient.
Debut writer-director Joel Silverman does a fabulous job of telling a sensitive story from a rare, male perspective. And his fluid, overlapping editing-style keeps the film moving and provides a lot of the film's comic relief. The performances are all excellent, and I liked the film's style and heart. In the end, it's examination of parental love and fatherhood reminds us that our children are us and, as much as we may try and fight it, we are our parents,too."
Implications of conceiving a life when it occurs at age 21
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 06/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"NAILED (2001), with Harvey Keitel, and Brad Rowe (suggesting Rob
Lowe, if you are dyslexic, the latter who is reminiscent of a young
Rob Lowe, too), is a drama that is pertinent and valid as
entertainment, but is outside of the typical Hollywood money-making
Here, there's a central moral dilemma taking place, which are the
potentially immense implications of a pregnancy, to a man or woman
when it occurs at age 21. It results in the need to choose between
sustaining the eventual life or ordering an abortion. As well, the
phenomenal emotional impact on parents, brothers and sisters is also
dhown when the decision is made, particularly when it requires
marrying outside of a social and economic class, in face of parents
and the clan having great career and financial expectations for the
Keitel demonstrates an ease in attaining an expected high
professional acting standard. Rowe as well as Rachel Blanchard are
credible as the couple, bringing plenty of realism to the picture,
of what it means to be perhaps 21 years old and confronted with a
spontaneous, unplanned conceived life.
The filming is low profile and does well in letting the audience
focus on the scenes, the acting and on the unfolding of the story
steering clear of distractions of any sort. The soundtrack shows
taste and professionalism, with a cover of "California Dreaming"
written by the Mamas and the Papas, no pun intended.
A number of elements will have much of the audience sympathizing,
namely, Keitel's marriage that itself comprises the Talmud and
Christian faiths, normally strictly off-limits by the former
religion, all the while he objects to his son's choice of mother for
The movie also carries a Pro-Life message, even in the context
explained above, which is a superficial 2 week relationship based on
the mutual exploration of libidos, the characters showing simpleton
dialogues and views of life, despite their apparent age of 21.
Rowe's character is from a well-to-do family, owning their own
business, some also having challenging, high paying jobs. Blanchard
plays a girl raised by a single-Mom, in poverty. Unfortunately, a
stereotype is perpetuated, when the film equates poverty with
immorality, promiscuity, low IQ, short schooling, irresponsibility
when that is not necessarily always the case, or even, in most
situations involving poverty.
The rush in prejudging people and sizing them up is shown when
Blanchard's character is rejected by Rowe's family in unison.
Perhaps a lot more could have been done in demonstrating financial
pressures and stresses in Rowe's character, because both Blanchard
and Rowe are not shown working, paying any bills, giving any
attention to finances, other than admitting living in a garage due
to lack of earnings and savings.
Finally, it brings into focus the opposing viewpoints of some women
and entire families who treat abortion lightly, even undergoing the
procedure multiple times in their lives, without giving it a second
thought, juxtaposed with simpleton young men and women, who don't
think strategically, not making social, economic, career
calculations, not allowing those aspects to dominate their human
This picture deserves to be seen for the implications it reminds
young adults about, millions of whom are unprepared for what is
shown in this movie, in their own lives."
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 02/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a slow-moving drama that covers an ever-present phenomenom that occurs with increasing rapidity in the present age: what to do when you have an unexpected pregnancy with someone you barely know.The story centers on a bachelor who has a fling with an emotionally unstable, aloof, prone-to-flip-out but attractive blonde. It does not take long before she gets pregnant, accidently.The balance of the film deals with the obvious but painful question "Where do we go from here?" His proud family wants her to get an abortion and then for him to ditch her. He wants to do the honorable thing and see it thru. She is bereft of any familial support at all and bounces from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other instantaneously.Harvey Keitel is terrific as a compassionate, caring but somewhat domineering father. He loves his son, but his heart is broken in that his first grandson and daughter-in-law may be the result of impulsive decisions.To complicate matters even more, given that she has had so little to cling on to in her life, she invests her decision-making process into the flawed machinery of astrology. In other words, she is as flakey as flakey gets.For myself, I have never thought much about the abortion issue one way or the other. Quite simply put, it has never effected my personal life. However, in seeing this film I could for the 1st time see it as a pivotal and painful decision - regardless of which direction one chose to go. This is a well-done film and becomes increasingly relevant as a warning to people who are apt not to think before crossing the sexual threshold with people whom they hardly know."