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Movie Reviews

Outside Providence  

Tim Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy)
Old Man Dunphy (Alec Baldwin)
Jana Weston (Amy Smart)
Mouse (John Brandis)
Directed by Michael Corrente Written by Michael Corrente, Bobby Farrelly, and Peter Farrelly
Rated R for teen drug use, strong language, and sexual references
Running Time: 95 minutes Distributed by Miramax

Outside Providence is a sloppy comedy that ends up being very flat. Tim Dunphy (Hatosy) is a loser high school student that always hangs out with his loser friends and gets high. A night of fun and drugs turns hazy after Tim runs into the back of a parked police car. His father (Baldwin) decides to send him to a prep school to keep him out of trouble. The school is a good distance away from Tim's hometown of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Tim arrives at his new school very out of place and out of line. As Tim adapts, he makes new friends, who are also stoners, or eventually become stoners, and he has to battle his strict and villainous dorm master. Over time, Tim learns how to study, begins dating the coolest girl in school, he outsmarts the dorm master, and most importantly reaches out to help and love his father and little brother.

Outside Providence is very unorganized and weak. It was as if three or four movie styles were thrown in a blender to make a delightful, coming age, and enjoyable comedy. However, the result is a dumb, disgusting, and disorganized mess.

Michael Corrente, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, who are the two brothers that wrote There's Something About Mary and Kingpin, wrote the script. The script is a disaster of bad sequencing and mellow scenes. It as if the writers kept trying to show the audience that Tim is a druggie by using more and more drug scenes. The audience sees by the first scene that he is a druggie, there is no need for many more. Like I mention before, the writers try to blend to many themes and aspects into one movie. It just doesn't work well in Outside Providence.

The only brightspot in Outside Providence is the terrific performance by Alec Baldwin. Baldwin portrays a strict, foul mouth, grungy father with a tender spot. Every scene with Baldwin isn't that good in terms of writing and development, but his acting is sensational. However, the other acting in the film is pretty mild. I believe that Shawn Hatosy, who plays Tim, will get better with experience, I just don't believe that he is ready to take a lead role in a film.

Outside Providence is not the type of film that most audiences might think it is. It is not an outrageous sick comedy from the Farrelly brothers. It is a mix of drama, comedy, and romance. However, this structure fails in this film. I expect to see this film to see this film leaving theatres pretty soon. Alec Baldwin is great, but for me, one solid performance doesn't make a movie and good movie.

Report Card Grade: D+

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