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May 28, 1997 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-05-28

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Wednesday, May 28, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 11
garcia delivers powerful performance in'Night Falls

By Julia ShIh
Daily Arts Writer
Andy Garcia has long established himself in
Hollywood as one of its most talented and
underappreciated young stars. After receiving
acclaim in films such as "The Untouchables"
and "The Godfather, Part III," he has once
again proven his immense cinematic presence
in the powerful motion picture, "Night Falls on
Manhattan."
Garcia teams up with film legend, director
Sidney Lumet ("Dog Day Afternoon") in this
intense and dark movie about corruption and
moral decisions.
Garcia stars as Sean Casey, an idealistic
street cop turned Manhattan district attorney
who is catapulted into the city's spotlight after
prosecuting a high-profile case. As he moves
higher and deeper into the criminal justice sys-
tem, Casey's romantic illusions about the sys-
tem are torn apart after experiencing personal
and professional betrayal by those closest to
him.
The film also stars Richard Dreyfuss as
Sam Vigoda, the lawyer who defends a drug
dealer/cop killer in hopes of unearthing cor-
ruption in the police department, and Ian
Holm as Liam Casey, Sean's veteran-cop
father.
"Night Falls" is exceptionally riveting and
very well done. It is a gritty movie with a hard-

core edge, much like the city in which it is set movie wanting no more than to uphold the law
(the movie was filmed entirely on location in and punish those who break it, but soon real-
New York). The compelling story holds view- izes that enforcing the law is sometimes a
ers with a death-like grip as it tells a shocking- worse offense than the crime committed.
ly candid tale, which is almost painful to bear. Garcia's performance is poignant and com-
The movie begins with a thrilling scene manding, taking the audience along on his
involving the arrest of a drug dealer, in which character's heartbreaking emotional and moral
the blatant ineptitude of roller coaster.
the NYPD is emphasized. Also notable is the per-
The protagonist, Casey, is R E V I E W formance of Ron Leibman
brought in to prosecute Night Falls on (Rachel's father on
the dealer, but he quickly Manhaan "Friends"), who plays the
finds out after the trial district attorney whom
that the law is often not * Casey succeeds. Leibman
clearly divided into right At Briarwood and showcase has incredible presence in
and wrong, but is an enti- the film and delivers some
ty based on moral compromise. of the most driven as well as lighthearted
Sidney Lumet, whose films have been moments.
nominated for more than 50 Academy "Night Falls on Manhattan" does not try to
Awards, does an incredible job of weaving pass itself off as a traditional Hollywood
strong themes of moral choices, ethics and drama with a fairy-tale ending. It poses a
relationships into this movie. He creates a realistic and complex issue with down-to-
morally ambiguous film in which there is no earth characters, and tells its story with
clear right or wrong, nor good guy or bad integrity and candor.
guy. Lumet's ability to make "Night Falls" This film may not be the most uplifting
into a complex and high-powered film with movie that you've ever seen, and it may even
haunting visual images is an absolute tri- be slightly heavy on its themes of morality. But-
umph. nevertheless, it is a moving motion picture that
Garcia's portrayal of a wide-eyed, almost speaks to the heart with a strong and universal
naive young man faced with a major moral voice. It is one of the few movies that everyone
choice is spellbinding. His character begins the should see.

ma Olin and Andy Garcia share a tender moment in Sidney
umet's "Night Fails on Manhattan."

Ryan enlivens new romantic comedy -

By Kristin Long{
Daily Arts Writer
Meg Ryan has carved her niche in
the movie industry; she is the romantic
comedy queen, who has found her way
i the hearts of hopeless romantics
even cold-hearted fools. Despite
the occasional flops and near-misses,
she maintains her reign with a dynamic
personality, creating
great on-screen
chemistry with her]
costars, as seen in
"Addicted to Love." Add
Matthew
Broderick is her tat-
partner, with At
om she collabo-
rates in a plan to retrieve lovers lost.
Broderick, who has wavered between
screen and stage, adds to the relation-
ship with his character's lovesick per-
sona and hope that even the most
destroyed relationship can survive.
When Broderick and Ryan meet as
Sam, a broken-hearted astronomer,
and as Maggie, a broken-hearted and
rugged photographer, they experience
lash of personalities that is des-
ts ed to form the most passionate
attraction.
The two are determined to szek
vengeance on their former lovers, who
have formed a sturdy and animated
relationship that makes everyone (even
the audience) a tad ill. While Sam
merely wants to win Linda (Kelly-
Preston) back, Maggie wants revenge
on Anton (Tchecky Karyo) who stole
* sensitivity to love.
Sam and Maggie establish their
quarters in a condemned building
across the street from the lovebirds,

and while they have built their rela-
tionship on a common hatred, they
enhance it with a mutual feeling
toward each other.
He initially devises an elaborate
projection of the lovers' apartment
onto a wall, where Anton and Linda's
interactions are displayed in full view.
When Maggie arrives, she adds more
risque equip-
ment, allowing
REVIEW the duo to hear
the two as well as
icted to Love see them.
* Sam and
Maggie do not
triarwood and Showcase i m m e d i a t e I y
share harmonious
interactions as expected. He is a book-
worm whose best friend is a telescope,
and she prefers the wild side and her
motorcycle. They have a certain con-
nection that only develops with time
and a common goal.
This is a bit predictable, but the
film's original personalities and acting
make it worthwhile. Ryan takes the
love-ravaged heart to a new extreme,
embodying all the feelings of distress
and disappointment, but also the inno-
cence that is all too vulnerable to love.
And with Broderick, whose lively step
keeps his Ferris Bueller charm alive, it
is a love-hate relationship exemplify-
ing the elements of a comforting
romance.
Their fascination with each other
becomes more and more evident with
each scheme to separate his ex-girl-
friend from her former fiance. Both are
hurt by the current state of events and
find a kind of solitude in their new-
found companionship.

. Sam and Maggie play off each other's
emotions: While Maggie has a cynical
attitude toward love and all its offerings,
Sam has yet to abandon the fairy-tale
dream of marrying his childhood
sweetheart. He is infatuated with the
mere idea of 'love,' and Maggie's frus-
tration with her partner's cheesy mis-
conceptions makes for interesting dia-
logue.
"Addicted to Love" works well
because, for the most part, it focuses on
its strengths as opposed to filling time
with weak scenes. The moments with
Preston, for instance, are thankfully
kept to a minimum, as her lofty charac-
ter only adds a lame personality to the
plot.
A fine cameo with Maureen
Stapleton as Maggie's grandmother
adds some humor and diversion to the
film, despite the fact that her character
is somewhat trivial. Stapleton's charac-
ter is not overworked, but provides a
finishing touch to the Sam-Maggie
romance.
The film's weakest point is its elon-
gated plot, which leans toward the
tedious side. Sam's attempts to know
Anton become a bit more silly than
enjoyable, and some slapstick moments
detract from the film's impact.
The overall effect of the film, how-
ever, is characterized by its strong cast
and spontaneity. After all, what could
be more enjoyable than a standard
love-hate relationship with the
dynamic personalities of Ryan and
Broderick? "Addicted to Love" touch-
es the heart without turning it to
mush, and creates another winner in
the Meg Ryan repertoire of romantic
comedies.

Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick make stalking look cool in "Addicted to Love."

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