The mob has a certain
romantic allure, especially in depressed urban neighborhoods where it mostly
holds sway. Particularly for the lower-income tough kids, these guys
have money, power, women and status.
Brooklyn Rules is
interesting because it is immersed in Mafia culture and yet is not really
about the lifestyle so much as trying to avoid it. Two of the three
best friends in this coming-of-age drama — set in Bensonhurst in the
mid-80s during the mob wars and rise of John Gotti — are desperately
concerned with keeping off the radar of the local mob boss (Alec Baldwin).
Sopranos writer Terence Winter — takes a hard
look at the ups and downs of the crime life and some alternative routes out
of the hood. Instead, this sensitive
story — penned by regular
Three boys have grown up
immersed in it and are each making different choices for their salvation.
Michael (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is trying education, becoming a student in
Columbia and starting to date a preppy Connecticut rich girl (Mena Suvari).
Bobby (Jerry Ferrara — aka Turtle in Entourage) is trying to find
his way through religion, marriage, movie trivia and hopefully a cushy
Only Carmine (Scott Caan in
a powerful performance reminiscent of his father James' work) is seduced by
the wiseguy culture, hanging with the made men and trying to become one.
As life in the area
inevitably pushes the three deeper and deeper into the world that most of
them are trying to avoid, their lives are touched by violence, anger and
Whether or not people can
break free of the rules of their environment is the real theme of
Brooklyn Rules. It also shows how three friends can take totally
different life directions and yet still share everything. Brooklyn
Rules has a few very violent moments, but for the most part it is more
about the heart and the mind rather than the fist — making it much more
subtle and strangely satisfying than most films about organized crime. (5/07)
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Posted: May 12, 2007.