We gave it a D
Video stores are going to have a problem finding the right shelf for this schizoid drama about a hood with heart. Backstreet Dreams is too sappy for the action-adventure section and too violent for romance. It’s so mixed-up, in fact, that it ought to be shelved for good.
The story is strictly the stuff of those disease-of-the-week TV movies. Dean Costello (Jason O’Malley) is a small-time gangster whose seamy career somehow manages to threaten the life of his autistic son, Shane. Meanwhile, Costello’s marriage (to Twin Peaks‘ Sherilyn Fenn) fails, and he falls in love with a wealthy child psychologist (Brooke Shields), who convinces him to turn his back on the Hoboken underworld and focus his energy on Shane.
Directed by Rupert Hitzig (Night Visitor), Backstreet Dreams is not just cinematically sloppy; in the end, it’s insultingly — indeed, destructively — simplistic, suggesting that autism is easy to cure with a little love. D