Michael Sauter
January 30, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Star Maps

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Douglas Spain, Efrain Figueroa
director
Miguel Arteta

We gave it a C-

Neither a Sundance pedigree nor director Miguel Arteta’s best intentions can save Star Maps, wobbly drama about a Mexican street hustler (Spain) with movie-star dreams. At the heart of the film is the callow young hero’s simmering relationship with his father (Figueroa), who’s also his pimp. But this potentially compelling conflict must share too much screen time with subplots about a randy soap opera actress, a mentally shattered mother, and a dim-witted brother who thinks he’s a wrestling star. Occasionally, Arteta extracts a revelatory moment from these too-colorful characters. Still, his tin ear for dialogue and his clunky staging make his more inspired ideas seem like accidents. C-

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