Young New Yorker Harvey Keitel is caught up in a classic dilemma: does he pursue the life his father wants for him (criminal) or the one his mother wants for him (pianist) ... and is it possible to lead both lives and remain stable? Though interesting as concept, the execution is fragmentary and unsatisfying, as the film walks its own tightrope between B-movie absurdity (Keitel's father screams and spits his food, Keitel walks around with a radio blaring 50's songs, Jim Brown tries to start an orgy) and serious psychological drama. It's exuberant but sloppy, and more than a little misogynistic: the women in this are either whores or crazy (which may be the case in real life, but if I were writing a movie I'd try to balance it out a little).
Director: James Toback
Year Released: 1978