"Fallen Arches" is a subtly absurd but deadly serious movie about two brothers' brush with a mob boss enraged when somebody steals his shoes.
By JOSHUA TANZER
This is the kind of LA movie I like to see full of guys with New York accents who I guess couldn't make it here so they moved out there. What's more, it's a mobster movie that's not really about mobsters it's more about a family.
Dad Romano is in prison and mom (Karen Black, of
"Easy Rider and "Five Easy Pieces") is setting a nice example for the kids by drinking at a run-down
Hollywood bar every night. That leaves street-smart Duke (Justin Louis) to take care of younger brother Frankie (Carmine Giovinazzo, who had a part in "Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss") and try to save up his bartending (and drug-dealing) money to send Frankie to college or cooking school.
|Directed by: Ron Cosentino.|
Cast: Carmine Giovinazzo, Justin Louis, Karen Black, Peter Onorati, Richard Portnow.
Related links: Official site
Somehow, it's the legit brother Frankie who screws things up. He gets mixed up in the theft of a shipment of Italian shoes bound for sophisticated but ruthless mob boss Nicky "Cap" Kaplan (Richard
Portnow, whose roles include one of the sarcastic detectives in "Barton Fink"). Did I say shoes?
These are not just any shoes they're "65 pairs of handmade, specially balanced creampuffs on a heel." The boss's misshapen feet, we're told, are what kept him from moving up in the New York mob and forced him to move to LA, and he takes this loss personally. You think that's funny? "Don't you fucking laugh," he warns. "My shoes are the foundation of my whole physiological well-being." Somebody's got to pay for crossing Nicky Cap, and it's up to Duke and disgraced ex-cop Charlie (Peter Onorati) to patch things up before things get any worse.|
Part of what makes "Fallen Arches" really work is the understatedly absurd edge of this story about stolen shoes. There's never a leer or a wink as the not-ready-for-New-York gangsters talk tough and the bumbling thieves shuttle dozens of shoeboxes all over town. The lead actors give intense next-Keitel / next-Spacey type performances, and if there's something slightly silly about this premise, they don't let on. It's a constantly dark, absorbing and personal turn on the mob genre.
|NOVEMBER 19, 1999|
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