2 January 2002 | The Amazing Sharkboy
Strange little film begs questions as to how and why it was made.
First of all, the tag line that IMDB has for this film is very funny.
I watched this movie on TV at 2:30 am while doing some paperwork and became curiously involved. Christopher Plummer, a bit part for Jerry Orbach, music by Bill Conti - can't be all bad, right? Though Gianni Bozzacchi choosing the Alan Smithee pseudonym to leave his name out of the credits is a bad omen. The overall result is a romance between two young lovers (with 1980s fashion overtones) that falls short of movies that could be considered similar such as "About Last Night" or "St. Elmo's Fire."
The performances are consistently credible and honest. Baio and Kelly Van der Velden have chemistry. Plummer and Sydney Coale each show genuine concern as single parents. Yet the predictable, somewhat low-energy story fizzles toward the end after making some strange choices. Baio's character causes an unbelievably stupid accident (this won't ruin anything - you'd see it coming from a mile away yourself) by attempting to photograph his girlfriend from underneath as they both ride a motorcycle across the Verrazano(?) bridge. In another scene Plummer, a professional actor, comes home shortly after a theater performance without removing his beard and makeup. He enters his daughter's room in the dark, briefly reciting lines from the production he's in before apologizing for restricting her social life. It's melodramatically odd. Also it's sometimes difficult to determine what causes disharmony between the two lead characters beyond their own neuroses.
Van der Velden is as good as any other young actress from the '80s. I'd expect her to have been involved in more films (Jennifer Beals found work in subsequent decades). But the only other database entry is a foreign film she did a few years earlier.
And why the title (which is repeated in the film)? Was funding provided by the New York City Visitors Bureau?
Weird recommendations for other films come up whenever I go to this movie's page . . .