"They'd love that thing we got--you know, that rude, New York uncivilized thing we got." The speaker is Dennis (Kevin Bacon), a Hollywood habitue back with his old pals in Queens, New York, for the wedding of his old buddy Ray (Ken Olin) to longtime sweetheart Patricia (Chloe Webb). That
event and the reunion it engenders form the basis for QUEENS LOGIC, one of those ensemble pieces in which assorted characters belatedly wake up to the truth about themselves and their relationships, and discuss it in public at a very high decibel level.
Ray is one of a quintet of pals who once shared the same Queens apartment. In addition to Dennis, there's Al (Joe Mantegna), a prosperous fish-marketer who's never left adolescence. Loud, cocksure, abrasive and generous with his endless supply of Mets tickets, Al affirms his manhood by carrying a
revolver and flirting with every available female in spite of his marriage to knockout Carla (Linda Fiorentino), who finally leaves him at the start of the film. Vinny (Tony Spiridakis) is a would-be actor and champion lover. Eliot (John Malkovich), the intellectual of the bunch, is a declared
homosexual who nonetheless disdains trendy gay lifestyles he sees around him. Celibate, he lives with lovebirds Ray and Patricia. Ray gets cold feet over his impending marriage, but his friends decide to go ahead with a bachelor party, at which Vinny scores with a New-Age-style mystic (Jodie
Markell); Eliot finds true love at last with a shy pianist (Michael Zelniker); and Al meets his match in a tantalizing woman (Jamie Lee Curtis) who playfully terrorizes him with his own gun and convinces him to find himself. Or something. Anyway, Al decides to re-enact the greatest moment of his
boyhood--climbing a rope up the heights of the Hellgate Bridge linking Queens to Manhattan. But Al nearly kills himself attempting the stunt, and returns, chastened, to ask Carla's forgiveness. Ray also reconciles with Patricia, but what brought him around isn't as clear.
These are not exactly world-class characters, but director Steve Rash skillfully juggles the multiplicity of subplots (holding the viewers' attention through sheer momentum at times) and the roles have been entrusted to a watchable young cast. Olin came to prominence in TV's yuppie serial
"thirtysomething," and more than one critic accused QUEENS LOGIC of being little more than a New York incarnation of that prime-time drama. (DINER and THE BIG CHILL were also cited as influences.) Be that as it may, Olin effectively conveys Ray's painful dilemma--he's an artist wracked by
self-doubt and fearful that marriage to a girl from the old neighborhood will somehow hold him back. Mantegna's bluff and bluster compensate for the fact that Al's a rather one-note personage. As Hollywood transplant Dennis, Kevin Bacon has a terribly trite assignment, down to the inevitable scene
in which he breaks down and confesses that he's a failure out West and constantly pines for N.Y.C. It's briefly suggested that Dennis and not the restless Ray will wind up with the good-hearted Patricia--a more intriguing storyline, had the filmmakers chosen to pursue it. The subplot about uptight
gay Eliot threatens to break fresh ground, but not much time is spent with it. Still, the coolly sardonic Malkovich is a welcome break from all the sentimental male bonding. Ironically, Tony Spiridakis, who's credited with the autobiographical script, is stuck with the shallowest role.
Spiridakis, a native of Astoria, Queens, had the first draft of QUEENS LOGIC completed in 1986, then shopped it around to various producers before settling with Stuart Oken, a luminary of the Chicago theater scene who entered the film industry with his productions of ABOUT LAST NIGHT and
IMPROMPTU. During the on-location filming in Queens, a public dispute arose between Spiridakis and his own former borough chums. The direct inspiration for the characters in QUEENS LOGIC, they also claimed co-authorship of the property, and ugly accusations flew back and forth. That a movie about
friendship could drive a wedge between the real-life comrades is a keener irony than anything in QUEENS LOGIC itself. Distributed in early 1991 through Taylor Hackford's New Visions Pictures, it lingered only briefly in theaters. On videotape its flaws can be more easily forgiven and its
occasional pleasures enjoyed. (Substance abuse, profanity, sexual situations, adult situations, nudity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: "They'd love that thing we got--you know, that rude, New York uncivilized thing we got." The speaker is Dennis (Kevin Bacon), a Hollywood habitue back with his old pals in Queens, New York, for the wedding of his old buddy Ray (Ken Olin) to longtime sweeth… (more)