Though there are good things about director Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's shambling urban drama, the fact is that given the talent involved, it should have been much better. Mentally challenged Knicks fan Seymour Weinstein (John Leguizamo) lives on New York City's Upper West Side with his community activist mother, Mona (Julie Carmen), and her girlfriend, Joanne (Rosie Perez). Joanne suggests that perhaps Seymour, who spends most of his day down at a local playground, watching pick-up basketball games, might fare better in a group home, away from his overprotective mother. Seymour's boozy, estranged father, Jack (Cliff Gorman), insists that his son isn't really retarded; he keeps calling him a "hustler" who just needs to move out of his mother's apartment, get his own place and get laid, despite Mona's insistence that Seymour's IQ barely breaks 70. Mona organizes a march to protest the killing of a young Hispanic man by police, but when a scuffle breaks out at the demonstration, shots are fired and a cop gets killed. A few days later, Mona herself is murdered by a neighborhood tough nursing a bizarre, apparently unrelated, grudge; he pushes his way into her apartment and shoots her in front of Seymour and Joanne. Seymour panics and runs into the streets, eventually winding up at his friend Francis's (Michael Rapaport) houseboat. There Seymour finds a gun, and while Joanne and Seymour go to the police, Seymour secretly decides to find his mother's killer himself. Seymour is the kind of role that can bring out the inner ham in any actor, and Leguizamo holds nothing back. Having spent several weeks doing research at a group home for the mentally challenged, he seems to have absorbed the mannerisms of the entire house, rather than any one resident. Jack, meanwhile, seems to have sprung wholly out of some classroom improvisation; he's full of "character" but makes little sense in relation to the rest of the movie. And the myriad cameos are as distracting as they are pointless: Annabella Sciorra teeters around in platform thigh boots and hits Seymour up for cash; an apparently psychotic Rosario Dawson menaces him with a box-cutter for no real reason; and Marisa Tomei does duty as a brash police detective whose m.o. involves wheeling around and screaming "Did you kill her?" at whoever happens to be sitting across from her. The script originally began life as a stage play, but still feels underwritten.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: R
- Review: Though there are good things about director Seth Zvi Rosenfeld's shambling urban drama, the fact is that given the talent involved, it should have been much better. Mentally challenged Knicks fan Seymour Weinstein (John Leguizamo) lives on New York City's… (more)