"What the hell's wrong with you people?" asks Frank Reade (Michael O'Keefe), OUT OF THE RAIN's antihero. The easiest answer is they're all part of yet another pretentious expose of small-town America as a stinking cesspool of hypocrisy and corruption.
Frank, an outcast with a criminal past, returns to his dreadful boyhood hamlet for the burial of brother Jimmy, who reportedly blew his brains out in his trailer. Frank moves into the RV (sponging the big bloodstain off the wall) and loiters about the decaying community. He's eager to make time
with Jolene (Bridget Fonda), a childlike beauty who worshipped him from afar in the old days. Now matured into sluthood, she begs to go with him when he leaves town again. But Frank postpones his departure when he decides his brother was really murdered. Everywhere Frank looks there looms another
Was it drug-dealing barkeep Drew (Al Shannon), from whom Jimmy regularly stole? Was it Jimmy and Frank's father Nat (John Sietz), who keeps the town's last factory open by renting cocaine-stash space to pushers? Was it brutal Sheriff Norris (John O'Keefe), Jolene's violently protective uncle, who
sexually molested his niece every Sunday in what he calls their "devotions"? Yes, the deeper Frank digs the uglier it gets, and everything leads back to the unstable Jolene. Frank's blinded by his love for the waif, so the sheriff finally spells out what the average viewer has long figured: that
Jolene popped Jimmy because he was about to go off without her. It should come as no surprise that the story ends rather unhappily, with Norris dead, Jolene dead, and the shattered Frank wailing in abject misery. Well, sometimes you gotta take life one day at a time.
One sincerely hopes the residents of Fulton County, New York, where OUT OF THE RAIN was filmed, weren't counting on it to pump up the tourist trade. Director Gary Winick vividly conveys the stultifying anomie of the failing backwater burg, with its boarded-up main street, bored inhabitants and
bleak future. Dramatists can certainly use such depressing settings when the material is worthwhile, but OUT OF THE RAIN offers only superficial cynicism, small-time film noir with nothing to say.
Characters and performances alike are one-note downers. The sour-faced Frank and the addlepated Jolene don't make a terribly scintillating couple. Frank may be a crank, but he isn't stupid, so his passion for the disturbed jailbait never rings true. The most welcome onscreen presence is the one
who shows the least attitude--Al Shannon as Drew, the congenial and prosperous narcotics hood. Mary Mara sulks impressively as Drew's alluring wife Trisha; her husky voice, the sexiest this side of Jessica Rabbit, helps her easily steal the few scenes she's in.
The script was adapted by the aptly named Shem Bitterman, from his own play. He does a good job in opening up his work for the screen, and the movie avoids the awkward, stagebound feel of other stage-to-screen transmutations. It was a small screen in this case, as OUT OF THE RAIN reached most
audiences via direct-to-home-video release. (Violence, profanity, sexual situations, adult situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: "What the hell's wrong with you people?" asks Frank Reade (Michael O'Keefe), OUT OF THE RAIN's antihero. The easiest answer is they're all part of yet another pretentious expose of small-town America as a stinking cesspool of hypocrisy and corruption. Fr… (more)