Double Parked

on September 22, 2000 by Jon A. Walz
   A complex story of single-motherhood, "Double Parked" is a heartfelt and ambitious but uneven little film from first-time director Stephen Kinsella.

   After escaping an abusive husband with her son Matt (Rufus Read) 10 years ago, Rita Ronaldi (Callie Thorne) has slipped into middle-age as a determined yet almost prideless woman who lives only for the well-being of her child, now 12 and turning the corner towards adulthood. Quitting her job at a Jersey City restaurant, she finds her way into the local police department as a meter maid.

   Meanwhile, Matt has fallen into friendship with a school tough-guy and drug-dealer Bret (Noah Fleiss) who encourages him to, ironically, help knock off the tops of parking meters for the money. The reality of who Bret really is brings the past for Matt and Rita full circle, forcing them to face what they've tried to forget.

   As dramatically elaborate as "Double Parked" attempts to be, the moments of real brilliance are quickly undermined by even grander moments of directionless tedium. Wonderful acting by a great cast is undercut by a script that rarely gets into the meat of the situations.    Starring Callie Thorne, William Sage, Noah Fleiss. Directed by Stephen Kinsella. Written by Kinsella, Paul Solberg. Produced by Kinsella, Matthew Myers. A Castle Hill release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 96 min.

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