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Homer & Eddie Review

Quite honestly, I don’t know where to start with Homer & Eddie. The DVD case makes it out to be another 80s road trip comedy. Far from it, Homer & Eddie feels like David Lynch taking on the Americana of Forrest Gump. There’s a threatening surrealism lurking just underneath the surface of the film, or maybe I’m reading into it too much. Nonetheless, Homer & Eddie is an odd drama, a feel-bad story about two misfits who embark on a repetitive and largely aimless journey.

Homer Lanza (James Belushi) was rendered mentally challenged by a baseball that hit him in the head when he was a child. Eddie Cervi (Whoopi Goldberg) is a sociopath with a muddled family history and a fatal secret. Homer sets out to visit his father, who is in the hospital dying of cancer. But when Eddie finds Homer sleeping in her car in a junkyard, she takes him along in order to get back the $87 stolen from him by some random men he met earlier on the road. The road trip gives director Andrei Konchalovsky the opportunity to punctuate monotonous driving sequences with equally monotonous 80s rock. Strange story choices make up the rest of a scatter shot plot, set apart by a series of robberies and murders committed by Eddie.

The problem with Homer & Eddie is simple: the characters are simply unlikable. Belushi plays Homer broad, too broad for a drama and often seems to be slipping in and out of character. You sympathize with Homer, or at least begin to, before Goldberg’s Eddie tears you out of that realm. Eddie is a murderous sociopath, seemingly bipolar and out to hurt herself and whoever gets in the way. She is impossible to root for or even relate to, and it is difficult to understand why Homer continues to travel with her, as he often shows signs of fully comprehending exactly what’s going on.

Perhaps a scene that describes the off-putting schizophrenic nature of Homer & Eddie is the following: Eddie commits a robbery and murders the shop owner in the process, which is then followed by Homer deciding to leave her and the two having a heart-to-heart dialogue about their ongoing friendship. Writer Patrick Cirillo seems to be striving for realism in this life, the endlessly similar locales and outstandingly average people populating the frame, but somehow loses his characters to the landscape, making them uncanny and largely unpleasant.

Maybe I missed the point of Homer & Eddie or was thrown off by its admittedly different approach to the same old story, but I did not enjoy the film. It wasn’t so much touching but just depressing, the inability to relate to or even like the characters seriously hurting the film. The film is at times beautifully lensed, but the DVD (part of Lionsgate’s The Lost Collection) is fullscreen and the nighttime scenes look very grainy.

DVD Bonus Features

A sparse trivia track and trailers for upcoming Lionsgate DVD releases round out a disappointing lack of special features.

"Homer & Eddie" is on sale April 14, 2009 and is rated . Crime-Thriller, Drama. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. Written by Patrick Cirillo. Starring James Belushi, Whoopi Goldberg.

Apr
15
2009
Mark Zhuravsky • Staff Writer

I'm a prolific blogger, writer and editor who loves film.

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