Wacky Title, Awesome Film...
Robert Wellen | CHICAGO, IL USA | 09/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While America's critics were generally split (with a negative bent according rottentomatoes.com) on this little film, with the notable exception of Roger Ebert, my favorite critic. Ebert reported that SFGOF and Bill Henderson (Clive) got a standing ovation at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival. And it was well deserved. This little film, shot for $40,000 proves once again that one man's treasure is another man's trifle. Or worse.Nevertheless, I adored SFGOF. Some critics ridculed the wise old codger played by Bill Henderson (one of those great character actors who you always say--I love that guy!). They say he is cliche or "patronizing." I found his performance moving and inspirational. He plays a sick old african-american man who spins tales of love and loss. Look if Judi Dench can get an oscar nomination just for showing up in a film (am I the only one who notices this?) and medicore films, like Chocolat, get nominated for Oscars--then Bill Henderson, deserves, at minimum, some kind of recognition. The heart of the film is Henderson, but his role is secondary. The Martini brothers, Smiling Fish (the happy go lucky younger bro) and Goat on Fire (the more serious older one) do a wonderful job in their triple roles of acting, writing and producing. The story of two brothers is both funny and touching. While not quite the study of sibiling relationships as say, You Can Count on Me, this is still wonderful. The brothers have lost their parents and have a special bond. They in lousy relationships and the film studies the fall of those. It gains strength as it looks at the new women (including the wonderful Christa Miller of Drew Carey, who gives a understated performance here) in their lives. There is not a whole lot new ground covered here. Still, the young actress who plays Miller's daughter is wonderful. As is Rosemarie Addeo, as a beautiful Italian woman who loves Dumbo. Kevin Jordan, the director, does a nice job keeping the film sweet and not melodramatic. There is a gentle kindness and warmth to this movie. It may not sound like much to some critics. But, in
these times, SFGOF makes it mark on your heart."
sunnykissed | Rolling Hills Estates, CA United States | 12/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a real feel good movie. Don't let the fact that it was made on a low budget turn you off. It's a fun story of two brothers who fall in love with a superb sub-plot about African American early movies. The acting is good by all and the story is romantic and sensitive. Lots of fun moments too. Watch this with your wife or girlfriend. I guarantee it will win you points big time."
Great Date Movie
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Smiling Fish and Goat on Fire is a funny film with a lot of heart. Bill Henderson is a treat to watch. If you like independent films with great script and great talent, this is worth the purchase."