Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 70 minutes
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Who says children of privilege always have it easy? Take a look at Aram (Jamie Iglehart), for instance. His pop (Robert Christopher) is a wealthy illustrator; his mother (Lee Bryant) re-married very well. Okay, it sucks that his parents are divorced, but at least his mother and stepfather Walter (George Pollock) take him out to nice restaurants, and his father coughs up the cash for his funky flat and other living expenses. This affords Aram the luxury of time to pursue his chosen profession: composing one-word poems.
Suffice it to say, that when you’re stuck scratching out a living at Wal-Mart to pay the rent, there’s not much time for the intellectual reflection such arduous authoring requires.
Of course, there are consequences to such a disconnected-from-reality lifestyle; namely that Aram can’t seem to form a bond with anyone, save his equally maladjusted sister, Lucy (Laura Knight), and a somewhat mysterious homeless man (Stuart Rudin) who hangs out on the titular street below Aram’s apartment.
Nice backdrop, you might say, but where’s the story? That’s exactly what the viewer of director Noam J. Christopher’s brooding character study might wonder as well. The answer, alas, is that there just isn’t much of one to speak of. “The Street” is a film that’s every bit as aimless and pointless as its protagonist’s life. What little drama there is evolves from Aram’s strained relationship with his mother and Walter, his unjustified idolization of his father, and the vaguely incestuous interactions with his sister.
Much more could have and should have been done with the film’s most potentially interesting character; the homeless guy, who would have served as an excellent Greek Chorus of sorts in what can only be considered a missed opportunity.
Fortunately, “The Street” only weighs in at a skimpy 72 minutes, or it would have gone from seemingly interminable to intolerable. The one saving grace to this film, based on what I’m sure must be a riveting autobiographical novel by Aram Saroyan, is Iglehart’s portrayal of Aram. For, in spite of his disgustingly well-heeled pedigree, the moody young man isn’t overly pretentious or snobbish, his ridiculous literary efforts aside.
Instead, he’s simply a lonely loser with a heftier bank account than his blue-collar counterparts, thus proving once again, that while money can’t buy happiness, at least you can afford cable and Chinese food in the meantime.
Posted on October 25, 2004 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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