Unhook the Stars

First films are never easy to make, but it’s gotta be a bit more daunting than usual shooting in the shadow of indie landmarks like Faces and A Woman Under the Influence. Nick Cassavetes’ debut feature, Unhook the Stars, is no cut-and-paste appropriation of his late father John’s angry oeuvre. Sure, he cast his mom (Gena Rowlands, dazzling as always) in the dynamite role of a lonely, uncertain woman who discovers unexpected inner resources when she befriends the unbearably cute son of her uncouth, abused neighbor (Marisa Tomei). But Cassavetes focuses on video-friendly moments of subdued intimacy. The result is so low-key it’s virtually inert, and so well-intentioned you may feel guilty admitting it bored you nearly to distraction. C+

Unhook the Stars
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