Greta Scacchi actually do fine in an underwritten, superficial
treatment of a Cuban writer, a political refugee who comes back to the
USA from a Cuban prison to find that his wife resents his "honorable"
decision to go to prison. He could have just shut up, pretended to go
along with Castro, and then snuck out with her and her daughter. But,
She still loves and
admires him, but he's been missing for years, so she has taken on a new
lover who seems like dad to her daughter. Jimmy's eventual appearance in
the States greatly complicates the personal situation.
Scacchi has to balance off the two
proud men that she loves, while Jimmy has to balance off his
importance in the Cuban expat community in Miami against his need to
get to know his family again.
It's about as good as it sounds.
And the decision to dump the American
guy shouldn't have been that difficult for her - it was Vince
d'Onofrio, after all, and you just know he's going to go on a killing
spree sooner or later.
(1991), which IMDB calls "Little Havana" is really a love
triangle, with a backdrop of the Cuban community in Florida.
Greta Scacchi and Jimmy Smits play a couple who were married in
Cuba, and had a daughter. Scacchi is a school teacher who wants
nothing more than to protect her family, while Smits is a highly
principled writer who becomes an activist against the Castro
regime. He is arrested and sentenced to 20 years. When they
offer him release if he signs a loyalty oath and recants his
anti-government stance, he prefers to spend the rest of his time
in solitary and away from his wife and daughter. Scacchi and
their daughter escape to Florida, and settle in Little Havana.
Cut to seven years later, and Smits has been released from
prison and allowed to leave Cuba. While he was gone, Scacchi has
taken a few jobs, and had an ongoing affair with the owner of
the boat that rescued her during the escape. Now she and the
daughter must choose between the two men. Smits is encouraged to
become an activist in Little Havana, and is something of a local
hero. Scacchi sees history repeating itself, so we have two
conflicts set up:
- Who will
Scacchi end up with
- Will Smits
choose his cause or his family?
The film is
beautifully photographed mainly in a very colorful Little
Havana, and we get a feel for what it is like when your family
members are political prisoners, or are still living under an
oppressive dictatorship. The performances are adequate, but the
story didn't have near the power and dramatic impact it could
have. Scacchi shows breasts and buns in flashback sequences.
IMDB readers say 5.8 of 10. I am not sure this Indie ever had a
theatrical release, and there are no reviews of note on line. I
found it rather lukewarm, and can give it no more than a C. The
concept had merit, but the script was way under-written, giving
the film no chance.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, this film is a D. (Tuna C-) Basically a TV movie. Not bad,
not worth the time invested in it.