Clash of characters
"Passing Stones" throws together a bunch of oddballs with almost too many character quirks into one small Long Island house for an entertaining weekend of treasure hunting and getting on one another's nerves.
By JOSHUA TANZER
(Originally reviewed at Williamsburg Brooklyn Film Festival, May 2001.)
"Passing Stones" is a caper movie so over-the-top that it skirts the fine line between uproarious and ridiculous, but it's worth giving the benefit of the doubt. Leon (writer-director Roger Majkowski) is a 30-year-old paper boy excuse me, "circulation manager" apparently in the outer boroughs, staggering through life with his incompetent mother and dope-addled brother, who still lies in bed and waits for his family to bring him milk and cookies.
Into this drab existence drops a bombshell when a stringy-haired old resident who knows he's about to die gives Leon his final payment. In the envelope is a mysterious letter in Polish. The letter leads first to Leon's deranged and estranged brother Gary the only family member who still knows Polish whom they find living with his "wife," a husky-voiced guy in a wig and a dress.|
"The money is under stone," the letter hints, which sets the ragtag bunch off to Long Island in search of the old man's equally touched family and the buried loot.
The film is an entertaining lark, though it almost goes too far in giving every character some bizarre quirk, making the film almost feel desperate instead of inspired.Still, it's full of winningly prickly New York personalities bouncing off the walls of one little house and into each other. It's got spirit and a good sense of fun.
|MAY 1, 2001|
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