Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Wednesday Movie Suggestion: Things Change
Who knew David Mamet had such a soft side? Released in 1988, Things Change wasn't necessarily a departure from Mamet's cement strong stories, only a less cynical attitude his work was, and still is, known for; an attitude that was most likely influenced by Mamet's co-writer, Shel Silverstein. This is one of the best movies about friendship ever made.
The film stars Don Ameche as a sweet shoemaker who agrees to confess to a crime committed by someone who looks like him. For his time in jail, he will receive a large amount of money from the Chicago mob. Joe Mantegna plays a mob soldier in charge of watching Ameche the weekend before the shoemaker appears in court. Mantegna, an indepent minded mobster in frequent trouble with his bosses, decides to take Ameche to Lake Tahoe for a good time before the old man goes to jail. When they arrive, Ameche is immediately mistaken for a big time mafia boss. As high concept as the plot sounds, the film never reverts to a typical Hollywood movie; this story could have easily been made into a glossy, mistaken idenity comedy starring someone like Eddie Murphy. Thankfully for film lovers, Mamet constructs a film with great subtlety in emotion, atmosphere and comedy.
Watch the Siskel & Ebert review here.