Originally Posted by soylentgreen
Heh, no matter how many times I've seen it over the last thirty years (yikes!), the kid never gets any less annoying. I suppose that's the point, though.
To me, the most interesting thing about GLORIA is the way it's thought of among Cassevetes fans. Some pretty strong feelings on both sides for this.
You'll find few Cassavettes fans out there (myself included) who don't tell you it's his worst film. I understand why he did it. But in the commentary for Mean Streets
, Scorsese talks in detail about a conversation he had with Cassavettes. Because Marty wanted to be a genre filmmaker, make Hollywood films. Cassavettes told him not to bother and that Hollywood films were shit. And then, not 10 years later, he's forced to play in that pool.
His contempt fills every frame and it is the work of a man backed into a corner. I often wonder if he didn't intentionally just decide to make a shitty film - almost to prove his point.
But seriously, I don't think the kid was supposed to be annoying. They just got a really terrible actor to play him. We're supposed to feel sorry for the kid. His whole family was wiped out by gangsters. And there is supposed to be poignancy in his relationship with the title character. That scene at the cemetery in the end should have you in tears.
But the kid is so insufferable, you spend the entire movie hoping Ben Gazarra or someone will show up and put a bullet in his head.
All things considered, Cassavettes acquits himself very well making a Disney movie. It follows the genre parameters of "family entertainment," while still maintaining that edge that makes his movies so special. It does feel like a Cassavettes film very often and Rowlands is, of course, tremendous.
But there is something very wrong when a 10-year-old kid can pretty much singlehandedly torpedo an entire film.
Cassavettes made a worse film... Big Trouble
- a sort of spiritual sequel to The In-Laws
. But, by the time the movie finally came out (in 1989), he was already dead or dying. And God only knows what transpired for its ultimate release.