Another Day in Paradise

Another Day in Paradise


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The title is ironic, of course. This is another dip into the degregation of drug dealing. Innocence is corrupted, killings happen, greed is king, lust takes a raincheck and the F-word rules. If movies have souls, this one missed out. Even as film noir, its trash novel origins vulgarise the script.

Larry Clark's 1996 debut was the documentary-style Kids, about teenage New York drop-outs wasting their youth on casual sex and dope, which caused something of a sensation. Clark's background as a photographer of dispossessed young people helped.

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Now he is working with Hollywood stars - James Woods going all the way and more as Mel, the drug dealer, and Melanie Griffith with surreal lip enhancement and tight pants as Sid, his junkie moll. And letting them get away with murder. When in doubt (quite often) he throws bluesy rock songs at the soundtrack.

Vincent Kartheiser plays Bobbie, a DiCaprio clone, whose acting is of the lanky haired self-conscious school, and Natasha Gregson Wagner plays Rosie, his girlfriend, extremely well.

Mel uses Bobbie as an apprentice, but Mel's off his head and quickly goes mental. Rosie discovers heroin, while Sid tries to protect the teenagers when the going gets tough. The violence is awful, the sentimentality reserved for the final scene and progress of the plot depressingly predictable. Clark's combination of naturalism (Kartheiser's non-acting) and modern Gothic (Woods on high octane) causes a style breakdown.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Another Day in Paradise packshot
Junkies go on a spree of devastation.
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Director: Larry Clark

Writer: Eddie Little book, Christopher B. Landon

Starring: James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Vincent Kartheiser, Natasha Gregson Wagner

Year: 1999

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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