Picks and Pans Review: Union City
Maybe—just maybe—Deborah Harry can act, but at this rate she'll be eligible for Social Security before anyone knows for sure. Playing herself in the good-natured Roadie, Harry became vapid the moment she stopped singing. In Union City, she is at least cast intriguingly as the drab wife of an irritable accountant, Dennis Lipscomb, as well as the nascent love interest of the superintendent of her apartment building, Everett McGill, a Jack Palance type. Despite her tantalizing, Betty Boop mouth, Harry is as warm as wet matches. At one point she steps into the hall, beckons to some neighbors, and says, "Hi. Come have coffee. I just made bread pudding, too." An EKG machine would be hard-pressed to detect any vital signs. This may be because writer-director Mark Reichert, in his first feature, is concentrating on Harry's husband's rage at the daily disappearance of milk from the doorstep. Hubby, in fact, is ready to commit murder over it. The plot comes from a mystery by '40s writer cornell Woolrich, whose stories have been used by Hitchcock (Rear Window) and Truffaut (The Bride Wore Black). But Reichert's style—which pays muddled homage to Brian DePalma and Elia Kazan—is overly brooding. The photography is so unremittingly dark that Reichert apparently equates the '50s with the Cro-Magnon era, which isn't fair, especially to the Cro-Magnon era. (R)
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