Another Day in Paradise
I suppose that if there were anything redeeming about director LarryClark's last feature, "Kids," it was that it had some basis in reality and made every bad parent who saw it wonder for just a second -- before their mind flickered on to the question: Are there fightin' lesbians on "Springer" tonight? -- whether their kid might be running around contributing to the destruction of society.
"Another Day in Paradise" has no basis in reality. It's just a cookie-cutter story of lowlife criminals on the predictable road to self-destruction. If I were compelled, perhaps by about six hours under nitrous oxide, to say something good about the film, it might be that it's Melanie Griffith's best role yet... which is like saying the morphine shots are the best part about having first-degree burns over 80 percent of your body.
Mel (James Woods) and Sid (Melanie Griffith) sort of adopt Bobbie (Vincent Kartheiser) and Rosie (Natasha Gregson Wagner). This would all be great if Mel weren't a thief and Sid a drug addict. Bobbie and Rosie take to Mel and Sid because they're true role models at stealing and drugging. It's a Hallmark moment when Rosie graduates from snorting heroin to shooting it after watching Sid plunge needles into her groin and neck.
How dense do you have to be to understand that just about every moviegoer alive has seen the grittiness of the career criminal lifestyle rendered ad nauseum? Did Clark actually think he could achieve some kind of artistic zenith by being yet grittier? Apparently yes, and the key would seem to be "more blood." As a result, the level of empathy that these pathetic characters inspired as they were shot and bludgeoned was such that I was far more interested in loudly rattling the last piece of ice around in my soda cup than whether any of them lived or died.
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