If the title character in JOEY BREAKER were asked to describe his own movie, he might put it like this: It's an earnest, New York version of THE PLAYER--a cut-throat movie agent discovers love, not business, is what life is all about.
JOEY BREAKER (Richard Edson) is a fast-talking player at Morgan Creative, a powerful talent agency. He eats, sleeps, and breathes deals. When another agent asks him to lunch, he's shocked to find the other guest is Alfred (Fred Fondren), a librarian suffering from AIDS. The encounter represents
the first of a number of jolts that raise Joey's consciousness.
Joey meets Cyan (Cedella Marley), a vivacious Jamaican waitress and nursing student, who happens to be friends with a hot young comedian Joey wants to woo. The meeting with Hip Hop Hank (Eric King) doesn't go well; he refuses to sign with Morgan Creative. Joey, determined to push a deal through,
sets up a showcase for Hank and wins him over. But when he cautions Hank, who is gay, to downplay his sexuality, his new client blows up. Joey also insults a fellow agent, who bolts the company and takes some new talent with her.
But while Joey's work life is disintegrating, his personal life is thriving. He begins visiting Alfred regularly, and asks Cyan out on a date. The romance appears doomed, because Cyan plans to return to Jamaica shortly and doesn't want to start a relationship to which she can't commit. But
Alfred's death sends Joey back to her, and it seems love stands a chance. Or does it? Cyan returns to Jamaica without so much as a goodbye. When Joey discovers she's left, it shocks him into action. He goes into work, promotes two assistants, and then quits and goes to Jamaica to live with Cyan.
Steven Starr, who wrote and directed JOEY BREAKER, has created a sympathetic, if one-dimensional, protagonist (after all, even workaholics have pasts), and the script, while not as humorous as THE PLAYER's, captures the manic, hype-ridden atmosphere of a talent agency. Edson provides a sense of
tension by managing to look uneasy while trying to act consummately cool; underneath his slick facade is a man slowly discovering a world beyond the chi-chi confines of show business and realizing he's been missing out on something. Together with Marley, whose coy yet outspoken character recalls
the charismatic presence of her father, singer Bob Marley, he gives the movie its charge. And even when the film starts teaching obvious lessons about life and love, they manage to pull the viewer along. (Adult situations.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: If the title character in JOEY BREAKER were asked to describe his own movie, he might put it like this: It's an earnest, New York version of THE PLAYER--a cut-throat movie agent discovers love, not business, is what life is all about. JOEY BREAKER (Rich… (more)