No Looking Back (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

"No Looking Back" is a portrayal of hope and hopelessness in the context of a love triangle in a decaying small Midwestern town. Should the beautiful 30ish waitress stick it out with the boring small town guy who loves her, run off with the aimless dreamer she has passion for, or strike out on her own?

The cinematography limns a dreary small-town life. Barren trees, ancient taverns, decrepit buildings, overcast skies, pasty faces, chilly winds. Pretty much like Fond du Lac.

Is the possibility of a major change in life so frightening that it will cause some people to accept eternal mediocrity. I guess so, but the filmmaker is pretty judgemental about all this. Small town midwestern lives can be as rewarding as life in Paris. Even if you have a crap job, you'll have a crap job in Paris as well, but you don't have to spend your nights in seedy bars, or having depressing conversations in the kitchens of rundown houses.

And if you just don't belong, move. Waitress jobs are available everywhere.

Directed by and starring Edward Burns ("The Brothers McMullen", a respected film, a Sundance winner which I've never seen.). Co-stars Lauren Holly and Jon Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi did OK, if you're curious. In fact, he's probably the best actor in the movie, but I don't think that means he'll soon be taking any bread from the table of James Earl Jones or Edward Norton.

I can't think of any good reason to recommend this indie. It's a sincere effort, and I guess it's a reasonably realistic portrayal of character types that may really exist, but they are all uninteresting and unlikeable, and you won't care for a minute what happens to them. Which is actually all for the best, because nothing ever does.

No nudity.

Box Office: pretty much nothing. ($140,000). And it wasn't that cheap to make. Budget: $5 million.

General consensus: Two stars. Ebert two stars, Maltin two, Berardinelli one and a half.

IMDB summary: 6.0 out of 10.

DVD info from Amazon.

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