Johnny Suede (1991)

R   |    |  Comedy, Music, Romance


Johnny Suede (1991) Poster

A struggling young musician and devoted fan of Ricky Nelson wants to be just like his idol and become a rock star.

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5.8/10
3,426

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  • Brad Pitt and Catherine Keener in Johnny Suede (1991)
  • Brad Pitt and Catherine Keener in Johnny Suede (1991)
  • Brad Pitt and Alison Moir in Johnny Suede (1991)
  • Brad Pitt in Johnny Suede (1991)
  • Brad Pitt and Nick Cave in Johnny Suede (1991)
  • Brad Pitt in Johnny Suede (1991)

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18 September 2012 | Hey_Sweden
8
| Very cool little film.
Independent filmmaker Tom DiCillo made his debut here with this hip, refreshingly quirky character study, with Brad Pitt scoring as the central character. He plays Johnny Suede, aspiring musician who idolizes Ricky Nelson and occupies a fairly run down apartment in Brooklyn. The film follows Johnny around as he alternates between reality and his own dream world. His relationships with women are a focal point, first as he hooks up with Darlette (Alison Moir) whose mom (Tina Louise) has connections to the music business. Then he chances to meet schoolteacher Yvonne (Catherine Keener) and falls for her hard enough to be ready to make some changes in his life. DiCillo injects some moments of amusing surrealism into his film while still basically handling his material in a straightforward manner, never going for stylistic choices when it isn't necessary. The dialogue is sometimes quite funny, and really comes to life in the hands of these talented actors. Among the other people in Johnny's offbeat life are his friend and bandmate Deke (Calvin Levels); Samuel L. Jackson has a brief, one scene part as the bass player in his band. The brightest moments belong to real-life music star Nick Cave, playing a character named Freak Storm; his scenes with Pitt are fun. DiCillo does a good job with visual detail, right down to the clothes that his characters wear. The story, as has been pointed out, is about so much more than just a specific kind of music (although the music is wonderful throughout) - it goes to great lengths to depict this amiable, ordinary guy struggling not just to make it as a musician but to adjust to the highs and lows of everyday life. Pitt shows here, as he has on so many occasions, to be more than just a pretty face, and an actor of range and depth. You like Johnny and want to see him find happiness. And at the end you can't help but sympathize with him. Overall, this is an endearing little gem, one in which DiCillo refrains from giving in to predictability and finds a realistic centre amid the more offbeat aspects to the world he creates. Well worth a look. Eight out of 10.

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