Friday, June 6, 2014

No Looking Back (1998)

A Subdued love triangle with Jon Bon Jovi, Edward Burns and Lauren Holly 

This slow burning romantic drama was filmed in Rockaway Beach, New York, but seems nothing like the what you would expect. Nearly everything is grey or brown, looking pretty miserable in winter. Despite the weather, people get around with the car windows down. Just one of the few strange things in this rare hard to find movie I saw for the sole reason of rockstar Jon Bon Jovi

Actor/Director/Writer Edward Burns plays the role of Charlie, the bad guy/good guy 2 in 1 who comes back to town. He's can be the jerk kind asshole figure, who's not very nice to people around him including a handicapped workmate at the garage where he works. We come to know that Charlie was the the ex-boyfriend of Claudia (Lauren Holly in a subtle performance), who he had abandoned some three years earlier when she had got pregnant. Claudia, a waitress now lives with nice guy Michael (Jon Bon Jovi) who's wants marriage and children but Claudia is not so keen. We never find out what Michael does. Just some blue-collar job that pays so little he has to ask Charlie (of all people)to repair his old bomb car in spite of his jealousy and insecurity. Jon Bon Jovi does a great job acting the powerless Michael though. 

The other side story involves Claudia's father. He had apparently ran away too, but it seems to have affected her sister and mother more. The mother hasn't left the house for ages. Her sister is single and so desperate she has a date with a dag. Claudia has a friend who is also single, and seems unable to seduce any men, despite being quite beautiful. 

Before this,  Edward Burns had previously made the She's The One (1996) and The Brothers McMullen(1995) but this little movie feels more like a personal project. Like Burn's many movies, there are many characters that come and go, but in this one he concentrates on just three. It's also notable that he has a female character overshadowing his own role. 

Besides the old love triangle plot, this movie is also about small town dreams and hopes. Claudia has given up all the dreams she had as a teenager, and has now settled for something realistic but dreary. Charlie still has dreams, after failing to achieve any of his before. He wishes to soon leave the suffocating suburb, and wants Claudia to go with him. It might surprise you what she chooses in the end. 

A special mention about the soundtrack! If the story or acting doesn't impress, the music will certainly wow you. There are many great tracks here but its a pity the soundtrack was never released. An okay film with a great soundtrack to watch on a boring day perhaps!


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