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Teen Movie Critic

Night On Earth


Roger Davidson

Night On Earth
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Jim Jarmusch is becoming one of my favorite directors. I have only seen two films by him. "Stranger Than Paradise" and this film. There are some weak points in this film and some very strong points. They are five-part episodic tales which take place all over the world and deals with one subject. Taxi drivers and their relationships with their passengers. The first one, taking place in L.A., is the weakest one. Starring Gena Rowlands as a movie executive who becomes interested with her street-smart cab driver (Winona Ryder) and wants to make her into a star. It just doesn't gel with me and it wasn't funny or dramatic.

The second one is funnier, taking place in New York, when a black passenger (Giancarlo Esposito) takes over the wheel of his confused German driver (Armin Mueller-Stahl). The funniest part is when they tell each other their names and each thinks their name is funnier than the other. The third one Takes place in Paris, the first of the other three in subtitles, where an Ethiopian driver tries to become the friend of a blind girl. She is very hostile to him and in the end they never develop much of a relationship. This is the part I didn't like about the film and you'll probably see why. The fourth one in Rome is extremely funny. It stars Italian comedian Roberto Benigni as a driver who confesses his sins to a priest in the back, who happens to be dying of a heart attack. This scene is sidesplitting funny and has a great comic performance By Benigni (who you can also check in "Son of the Pink Panther").

The fifth and final one from Helsinki, is the saddest one as the driver listens to the sorrow's of his drunk passengers and tops it with his own story! This is a completely heart breaking scene that should be seen by everybody. I have given my criticisms already. Although some don't think that episodic films work, I think it has it's moments. The first and third episodes are pretty weak and mostly unwatchable. Still, for you Jarmusch fans or people who are getting interested in him, this is the film to see from him.

My Rating = Three Stars

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