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Queens Logic Movie Review

spiridakis tony frustrated waits

Screenwriter-turned-actor Tony Spiridakis asks us to believe that the inhabitants of Queens are more real than anyone else and that no one in the neighborhood is full of crap. That, believe it or don't, is the payoff for Queens Logic, about five lifelong buddies who are still the most important people in each other's lives. This may very well represent new territory for its young writer, but the material will be awfully familiar to any cable subscriber with a VCR. Federico Fellini examined five Adriatic buddies in the 1953 classic, I Vitelloni and George Lucas explored many similar rite-of-passage themes in 1973's American Graffiti. More recently, Nancy Savoca directed 1989's no-star but fun-to-watch True Love, an unpretentious little film that showed rather than explained pre-wedding jitters in the Bronx. Most of the characters in this 1991 re-tread by Spiridakis have little to do and are very sketchily drawn. Ken Olin is a frustrated artist who doesn't know what he wants. Kevin Bacon is a frustrated Hollywood actor (you can tell by the pink sunglasses) who hates phonies. Tony Spiridakis is a frustrated Manhattan actor (you can tell by the terrible Brando imitation) who wants a woman who will howl at the moon. And John Malkovich is a frustrated but choosy gay man (he says so often enough) who prefers his straight childhood friends to anyone he might pick up in a bar. Tom Waits has a cameo as a Queens weirdo and Jamie Lee Curtis has a cameo as a rich weirdo. Spiridakis is a not-terribly original writer who has a sporadically good ear for dialogue and is also the least colorful onscreen presence in the film. Luckily for audiences, Joe Mantegna is the star of Queens Logic. No matter how many cliched situations Mantegna is stuck in, he packs them all with an intense vitality that's hard to resist. Chloe Webb also works wonders with the thankless role of a long-suffering hairdresser who waits patiently for her much-adored fiance to grow up. And deep-voiced Linda (The Last Seduction) Fiorentino creates a vivid impression as a young mother of two who clearly has had it waiting for her childlike husband. The action takes place on the weekend of Chloe Webb's wedding to Ken Olin. Will they get married and remain true to Queens or not? (Hint: “I Fooled Around and Fell in Love” is on the soundtrack.) Queens Logic is directed by Steven Rash, who began his career making The Buddy Holly Story and Can't Buy Me Love and later went on to direct Pauly Shore in Son-in-Law and Whoopi Goldberg in Eddie (Spiridakis went on to write the poorly received If Lucy Fell.)

1991 (R) 116m/C John Malkovich, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Linda Fiorentino, Joe Mantegna, Ken Olin, Tom Waits, Chloe Webb, Ed Marinaro, Kelly Bishop, Tony Spiridakis; D: Steve Rash; W: Tony Spiridakis; C: Amir M. Mokri; M: Joe Jackson. VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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