Crossing the Bridge
STARS: Stephen Baldwin, Josh Charles (Dead Poets’ Society), Jason Gedrick (Backdraft), Jeffrey Tambor (Larry Sanders), David Schwimmer (Friends), Cheryl Pollack (Pump up the Volume).
Ann's RATING: 8.5 out of 10
DIRECTOR: Mike Binder
If you liked ‘Threesome’, you’ll be pleased to know that both Stephen Baldwin and Josh Charles are in this movie. Set in the 1970s, ‘Crossing the Bridge’ is the story of three buddies who are aimlessly hanging around their home town even though they graduated 3 years ago. Some of their other friends have moved on but the three lack direction. Danny (Stephen Baldwin) is the school hero and a ladies’ man. Mort (Josh Charles) is just happy hanging out with him. Tim (Jason Gedrick) is a quiet kind of guy with a very erratic temper. The three often go to nudie bars in Canada and seriously consider a proposition to smuggle marijuana from Canada back to the US. They let the idea go for a while until Danny’s widowed father decides to get remarried and Mort gets fired. The money suddenly sounds tempting. They then decide to go through with it but have to make a difficult choice when they realise that it is not marijuana they are carrying, but heroin. The beauty of this film is not so much the plot but the dialogue. It’s the kind of film where you just sit back and let yourself be entertained. It is often funny but also has many suspenseful moments.
Mike Binder wrote and directed the film and his confidence with the material really shows. The dramatic scenes are good and the music is great. Even though it is set in the 70s it is still very familiar. Everyone knows a couple of guys who just can’t let go of high school and move on. The performances by the three leads are great to watch. Josh Charles is always great in those nice guy roles. His character, a wannabe writer obsessed with an ex-girlfriend, is very amusing. Jason Gedrick also gives an effective performance. Especially towards the end of the film when he has to make a decision. Stephen Baldwin gives an outstanding and charismatic performance as Danny. He really has an amazing screen presence. You just can’t look away every time he is on camera. He looks different than he normally does, this time sporting long dark hair. He plays everybody’s hero and he lives up to their expectations but you see that he has a depth that he doesn’t let on. This is especially noticeable the scene where his father is selling all his childhood possessions. In the closing credits, Stephen dedicates his performance to Michael Kingman and if anyone reading this knows the story behind this, I would be interested to know. The director- Mike Binder- not only narrates this film but starred in a directed the movie "The Sex Monster" in which Stephen had a small part.
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