Outside Providence

"Weak"

Outside Providence Review


It seems Peter and Bobby Farrelly -- the writing-directing brothers behind the laugh-'til-ya-puke hits "There's Something About Mary," "Kingpin" and "Dumb and Dumber" -- are not all comedy after all.

Their stoner coming-of-age story for "Outside Providence," which they wrote with director Michael Corrente from a novel Peter published in 1998, is more far more bittersweet than funny.

A considerably less creative yarn than the pictures they directed themselves, "Providence" follows blue collar dope-head Timothy Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy) though his stereotypical, out-of-place adventures in restrictive prep school in 1974, where he's sent by his beer-swillin', paunch-scratchin' pop (Alec Baldwin) after getting baked behind the wheel with his loadie friends and crashing into a parked police car.

Dunphy is forced to abandon his buddies and enter a world of slight twists on movie cliches as he bunks with the school geek, finds himself an arch-nemesis in his starched dorm master and romances the unattainable girl (Amy Smart), which is where the film focuses much of its attention.

Early on, it looks like Corrente might take the comedy in a "Kingpin"-like direction with some dark, caustic laughs and sight gags involving Dunphy's wheel chair-bound brother ("We were playing touch football and he fell off the roof.") and his one-eyed, three-legged dog. But by the third reel, the movie is on a rather aimless course toward poignancy, with fond and bitter '70s memories, and occasional lessons about responsibility and becoming an adult.

The sleepy-eyed Hatosy ("In & Out," "The Faculty") is well cast as the endearing dunce Dunphy, who is in way over his head amongst the well-educated, Connecticut rich kids at his boarding school. The same can be said for Smart ("Varsity Blues"), the Ivy League-bound, blue-blooded girlfriend whose academic career is threatened by her caste-busting affair with bad-influence Dunphy.

Alec Baldwin gives his most interesting, off-beat performance since "Miami Blues" as Old Man Dunphy, whose testosterone tough-love tactics include calling his son "dildo."

But like most of the story, that relationship turns to canned sentiment instead of sticking with promise of dark comedy peppered throughout the picture. Late in the film, Old Man Dunphy redeems himself with a tender moment teaching his boy to tie a necktie.

"Outside Providence" occasionally deviates from what's expected of a coming of age story -- in fact the hero never even lays the unattainable girl on screen. Director Corrente ("American Buffalo") does a good job of getting the audience in Dunphy's corner, too, despite the character being a bit of an ignoramus.

But the story goes nowhere while still managing to be largely predictable, and its bound to be a disappointment to anyone roped in by the previews that play up the Farrelly connection. The laughs here are few and far between.



Outside Providence

Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 1st September 1999

Distributed by: Miramax

Production compaines: Miramax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 37 Rotten: 37

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Tim Dunphy, as Jane Weston, as Old Man Dunphy, as "Drugs" Delaney, as Barney, as Joey, Robert Turano as Fran, as Jack Wheeler, as Dean Mort, as Tim's mother

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.