Save your wish on this falling star

Constellation

on February 02, 2007 by Tim Cogshell
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Whether the road to hell is paved with good intentions may or may not be true. It is unequivocal, however, that the road to bad movies is very often paved with good intentions, which, in the case of writer/director Jordan Walker-Pearlman's follow-up to The Visit, is most certainly true. This is a film that has at its core intentions that are noble and pithy, but is, nevertheless, full of what can only be called a lot of flat-out bad filmmaking.

The notion here is to explore the web of familial relationships spun from an interracial love affair that could not be. In the mid-‘40s, Carmel Boxer (Gabrielle Union), a young black girl, and Bear Korngold (played by Daniel Bess as young man), who is white, fell in love. But Bear was unable to surmount the obvious hurdles that such a relationship supposed, and thus this love was ultimately unrequited.

Years later, upon the death of Carmel, and at her belated request, Bear (now played by David Clennon) brings together Carmel's estranged kin for her funeral and his own recompense. In fact, most of this movie is not so much about Carmel and Bear, or Bear and his struggle with old regrets — which is much of the problem. Rather, the divergent struggles within Carmel's dispersed family, including her brother Helms (Billy Dee Williams), his children, their significant others, his ex-wife and former lovers is the subject that takes up the bulk of the film.

This is all quite interesting, but it strays too far from the established narrative path for the story to remain cogent. This, along with what is some of the most undeniably bad acting (including what must be wholly improvised overlapping dialogue), loosely edited scenes juxtaposed in the most vexing ways and completely disparate motifs, blurs Constellation into an image that the Hubble Space Telescope could not sharpen. It's a shame, because there is in fact much here to explore both narratively and emotionally. Distributor: Bigger Picture
Cast: Ever Carradine, David Clennon, Rae Dawn Chong, Melissa De Sousa, Hill Harper, Alec Newman, Zoe Saldana, Billy Dee Williams, Gabrielle Union and Clarence Williams III
Director/Screenwriter: Jordan Walker-Pearlman
Producers: Shannon Murphy and Jordan Walker-Pearlman
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language and a sexual reference
Running time: 93 min.
Release date: February 2, 2007

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