Picks and Pans Review: Falling from Grace

updated 03/09/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/09/1992 01:00AM

John Mellencamp, Mariel Hemingway

Now look here, John, you being the star of your own directorial debut and all. You can make a sleepy elegy to your down-home roots, or you can make a hot, dirty, lust-in-the-dust soap opera; but you can't make a hot, dirty, lust-in-the-dust, sleepy elegy to your down-home roots.

The gritty rocker here plays a C&W star who takes his California wife (Hemingway) and daughter back to some place called Doak City, for a nice visit with his folks. They include Grandpa (Dub Taylor), who figures his famous grandson ought to buy him a Cadillac so he can toot his horn at the pretty girls, as well as the singer's pa (Claude Akins), who is horsing around in the hay with John's past girlfriend and present sister-in-law (Kay Lenz).

Mellencamp feels so at home—especially after rubbing up against sister-in-law himself—that he decides to shuck his career and pack wife and child off to California. How come, John? To run with this pack of no-account hounds? Lord knows, we all hope there are higher roads in life than being rich and famous in California, but being down and dirty in Doak City sure ain't one of them. (R)

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