Picks and Pans Review: The Last Good Time

updated 05/22/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/22/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Armin Mueller-Stahl, Olivia d'Abo

Mueller-Stahl is a courtly widower living out some very quiet sunset years in a Brooklyn apartment. He makes a daily note in his journal about what to wear the next day. He stands by the window at night and plays his violin. And he does everything he can to avoid having to talk to his garrulous old neighbor (Maureen Stapleton, who has one great head of hair). This lonely placidity is interrupted by d'Abo, who lives upstairs with a thuggy, abusive boyfriend. Very gingerly, Mueller-Stahl offers his protection to this battered young woman, who is rude, foul-mouthed and usually hunched over in a filthy leather coat. But she, also gingerly, responds to his decency.

The best that can be said about The Last Good Time, the third feature directed by actor Bob Balaban, is that the acting is all good. D'Abo, still perhaps best known as Karen Arnold on TV's The Wonder Years, is especially touching. Considering how little her character is given to say, the performance is a small miracle of economy. Other than that, the movie feels tiny tiny tiny, underlit and emotionally remote. (Not Rated)

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