Niagara, Niagara

on March 20, 1998 by Bridget Byrne
   Despite the central character's illness, which should incur strong sympathies, "Niagara, Niagara" never manages to impact as anything more than just another variation of the overworked genre of disaffected youth on the road to nowhere.
   Robin Tunney's performance as Marcy, the understandably unhappy girl with Tourette's Syndrome, brings to mind a combination of the acting styles and appearances of Jennifer Jason Leigh and Helena Bonham Carter, but not at their best. Although the thespian craft on display is intriguing and compelling, it never completely pulls the observer past admiring curiosity to engrossed empathy. Without a central character to grab to heart the journey taken is not a path worth following.
   Asked to be little other than second fiddle as the girl's numb, rapt accomplice, Henry Thomas is so suitably sad sack he might almost as well not be there. Michael Parks, however, bring an appropriate buzz to his junk dealer role, but those moments seem to flash by amid the drag-on dreariness of the main story.
   Bob Gosse's indulgent direction reveals his belief that this adventure is a love story; unfortunately, it's one with very limited appeal.    Starring Robin Tunney and Henry Thomas. Directed by Bob Gosse. Written by Matthew Weiss. Produced by David L. Bushell. A Shooting Gallery Production. Drama. Rated R for violence, sexuality, substance abuse and strong language. Running time: 96 min.
Tags: Robin Tunney, Henry Thomas, Bob Gosse, drama, Tourette's Syndrome, Michael Parks, romance

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