15 April 1999 | EdRooney
10 above face
`Just The Ticket' This current trend of movies being announced for home video before, or during, a theatrical run is very heartbreaking. Good movies are lost in the stampede for the rental market, and I feel it cheapens the minor magic of seeing a film in the theater. `Another Day In Paradise', "Go", and `At First Sight' are recent examples of this. `Just The Ticket' is the latest. Appearing in the Phoenix area 6 weeks after its debut, it's also about 6 weeks before you can go to Blockbuster and rent it. Sad. What that means to me, and seemingly only me due to the reviews I have read, is that a very amiable and charming romantic-comedy-drama is going to fall below the radar with most people. Andy Garcia is an actor with an amazing dramatic charge that easily makes him one of the best actors we have. It's his choice of films that taint that assessment considerably.
I like him a lot, and `Ticket' gives Garcia that perfect opportunity to show off his range. His performance here as a ticket scalper ranks with his best work. He can take hold of the moment with the best of them, and he has an unbelievably funny scene involving the laserdisc of "Stargate". With Andie MacDowell, who I have always believed had the range of a half-empty box of Honey Nut Cherrios, Garcia creates believable chemistry. Their scenes of foreplay are truly enjoyable. The background story of `Ticket' is that they shot the New York street scenes without a permit, often having the citizens around them not aware that a movie was being made.
This aspect of the movie is its strongest asset. The dirty, low budget mentality makes the flick more enjoyable. The grainy film stock, passerby's looking into the camera, and Garcia actually seeming like he's having fun is such a breath of fresh air. It's like a student film with A list actors. Truth be told, the film falters when it reaches for more dramatically satisfying material. A drug addicted pregnant girl, a life-challenged mentor, and a rival scalper make for some weak moments. They threaten to crush the film. Somehow Garcia, with director Richard Wenk, make everything come together with a decent ending that doesn't feel forced. This isn't landmark material, but it is the rare film that isn't too forceful, and has complete faith in the power of its actors.------------- 8