WHITE IRISH DRINKERS
Two young men are looking for a better life but may have to go to the wrong side of the law to get it in this independent drama from director John Gray. Brian Leary (Nick Thurston) and Danny (Geoff Wigdor) are brothers living in a decaying Brooklyn neighborhood in 1975. Tired of dealing with their angry and abusive father (Stephen Lang) and high-strung mother (Karen Allen), both Brian and Danny want to move out and do something different with their lives, but their ambitions travel different paths.
WHITE IRISH DRINKERS is a kind of an unfortunate title, to be quite honest. It says it stars Steven Lang, Peter Reigert and Karen Allen, all true, but kind of misleading, in that they are the kind of background for this. The movie really stars Nick Thurston and Geoffrey Wigdor. The 18-year old Brian is basically the younger brother who’s just being mislead by his older, tougher brother, Danny. Steven Lang plays kind of a tough brutal father. Karen Allen plays the long-suffering wife and the idea is — we’ve seen a lot of this before — is Brian going to go through a life of crime, or is he going to go off to college and become a success and an artist? Clearly, we’re rooting for him. Steven Lang is a really terrific actor and Peter Reigert isn’t around often enough. We like him and there’s a bit of a surprise turn to it, too. But, basically it takes a long time to get to a story that we really have seen somewhat before. I still did like especially Nick, it could have used — I don’t know what it could have used here. It’s written and directed by John Gray and maybe we needed either somebody directed who it didn’t write it, or somebody who wrote it who didn’t direct it. I think they have a certain amount of self indulgence that could’ve been offset. It could’ve been a little shorter, it could’ve been a little tighter. Again, if you’ve seen all this before, you want to see something a little different. The major fun of the movie is the idea that Peter Reigert plays the owner of a failing movie theater and is going to get the Rolling Stones to appear for one night. I’m not going to tell you any more than that. I’ll give it two stars.