User Reviews (36)

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  • This little gem of a film was shown on cable. Since I don't think it ever had a commercial run, at least locally, it was a delight that came out of nowhere. Dan Cohen, working with his own material, has dome wonders with this buddy/road picture in which two different men with different mentalities and background, come together as they touch each other's lives in more ways than expected. If you haven't seen this film, please stop reading.

    Eddie Miller is an old salesman who loses his job after having a mild heart attack. The firm he has been working for years suddenly decide to fire him because he cannot be insured any more. Eddie is in a difficult position; his wife has died and left him with debts that he must repay. This is a decent man who has done honest work for his company and suddenly finds he must either stay for a few weeks training the new guy, who is going to inherit his job, or else, go into an unknown future, probably doing menial work.

    The new man, Bobby is a happy go lucky kind of guy who enjoys his time on the road as it gives him the opportunity to play around all over his territory with waitresses, bar maids, or other women who are willing to have a good time with a handsome fellow. The contrast between Eddie and Bobby is notorious. Eddie prefers to stay in the motel room and solve puzzles rather than go drinking with the apprentice.

    This is a story of contrasts between two different generations. What makes the film so endearing is the great work by the two principals. Robert Forster has been around, behind the stars for quite a while. He is a reliable character actor who is dependable, does his work well, but one never sees him in a lead role such as the one in here. Donnie Wahlberg, the new partner, is excellent in that he is just the opposite of the older man, but one can see the rapport between them. Donnie Wahlberg makes a magnificent contribution to the movie.

    Bess Armstrong, makes the most with the small role of Katie, the woman who meets Eddie in the worst possible circumstances, but immediately recognizes this man is honest and decent. Eddie is the answer to her prayers and hopes. The two have incredible charisma and ease in their scenes together. Also, in a small part, Jasmine Guy, who is the kind hearted Tina, the owner of the "house of leisure" where Bobby convinces Eddie in going. Ms. Guy does wonders with her small time in front of the camera.

    This is a film with an unpredictable ending. Director Cohen takes us into a wonderful road trip all over the state of Pennsylvania, and what a treat it turns out to be for those willing to embark in this adventure.
  • An escape from the gratuitous mayhem, crashes, gun play, torture, nudity, lying, cheating, and sex of many contemporary movies.

    This movie tells a great story, complete with emotions, situations, and predicaments that most people can relate to. It has a touch of violence and sex, but only in context with the storyline. Forster is superbly cast, and Wahlberg is delightful. The minor actors are believable and credible. Locations are just plain down-home rural America.

    All the previous user comments are right on target. I can offer only strong agreement. This is one fine movie. Watch it with your loved one or your best friend (or both).
  • This film takes us into the world of diamond selling, with brilliant (like the diamonds being sold) cast, director and script. Slowly, we come to know these people, seeing their flaws and then learning to love almost all of them. This film should have had wider release when it was first introduced in theaters...and should be used as a lesson to film makers in schools across the country.
  • mcgribb14 November 2003
    10/10
    A gem
    This is one of those gems you happen on by accident and then wonder why you never heard of it. A stellar performance by Forester, and Donny Wahlberg is a real suprise.

    Notable name behind the camera is Rick Derby -- director and producer of Rocks With Wings -- one of the best documentaries to air on TV in 2002.

    Check it out, you won't be sorry.
  • I saw this on the BIG SCREEN. Donnie Wahlberg was terrific in it. It is obvious that he has a lot of similarities with his brother, Mark. Robert Forrester plays an OLD SCHOOL diamond salesman. He is assigned to mentor Donnie...the new guy. It's amazing how STIFF Forrester's character is. He ALWAYS wears a suit, has well manicured hair and drives a lincoln town car..oh yeah, and he listens to mellow music. There is nothing remarkable about this stiff. That's where Donnie comes to the rescue. At first, Donnie is kind of put off my Forrester...but he grows to respect him. Out of respect, he tries countless times to hook Forrester up with a woman...to "loosen him up." The chemistry is interesting. Forrester eventually loosens up and after a series of events. I won't spoil it. There are few characters in this terrific movie and it's a joy to follow these two diamond salesmen as they hit the road to make sales.
  • Charming. That is all one really needs to say about this movie. Okay, okay, it's basically a road movie. We've all been there and we all generally know what happens when you get two people from different walks of life stuck in a car for under two hours of film. Sometimes you have to ignore your jaded movie-dissecting tendencies and just go for it. The script has genuine charm and some great laughs jammed into it, without ever actually trying too hard to be witty or funny in the first place. Of course, the chemistry between Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg has something to do with it as well. They just seem, well, effortless together. It's really quite something to witness, and not something you see very often in films, mainstream or otherwise. They just have that... thing together. You know, that thing? That indefinable thing? Well, they got it. They got it in aces and spades.
  • "Diamond Men" is a wonderful slice of Americana.

    Arthur Miller's indelible use of a salesman as a symbol of much that's wrong with American capitalism and families so influenced cinematic imagery that it was continued corrosively by David Mamet in "Glengarry Glen Ross" and imitatively by Roger Rueff in "The Big Kahuna." (Yet, somewhat diabolically, salesmen are now more and more being used as role models for fund raising for nonprofit organizations.)

    First time auteur, and diamond business scion, Daniel Cohen, has taken a similar situation of an aging road warrior (brilliantly subtle Robert Forster) and his apprentice (Donnie Wahlberg, with his brother's smiling charm and with NKOTB far behind) and the women they love and leave, and brought forth the shining humanity.

    The small towns of Western Pennsylvania and their store owners, waitresses, and schemers provide an authentic background (well, maybe except for the brothel -- though I did get a kick out of the touch that had the madam scoring very high on the corporation's "customer service" exam) and the dialog, particularly about jewelry stores and diamonds, sounds completely genuine.

    Even if the finale is a bit Hollywood, it feels redemptive, unlike other salesmen movies.

    (originally written 10/6/2001)
  • Another in the genre of "Average Guys Have Feelings Too". Grainy film, home movie locations, good character roles, well played. The story is engaging, despite its worn character types. Forster as Eddie is perfectly cast and works his minimalist magic. Wahlberg as Bobbie is trying to be Brando at times, but manages to show some range of acting skill. Katie, as played by Bess Armstrong, is well written and adds needed depth just in time to the flat story line. Katie and Eddie end up being just as unethical and immoral as the rest of the blue world they occupy. The twist at the film's end, in my opinion, gives the story a flat tire. A good story, but too cynical.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Can't emphasize enough: Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie yet.

    I've taken to putting movies in which the protagonists steal on a scale.

    At the low end, you have a movie like "The Score". It was a weak movie in many ways, and one of its notable failures was that it failed to redeem the criminal protagonists from the reality that they, after all, were taking something that didn't belong to them.

    At the high end (and also with Robert Forester) you have "Jackie Brown". It was a strong movie, and it earnestly and convincingly invites you to put Jackie's scheme (again, to take what ain't hers) within a complex moral/logistical web that at least demands that we think of the implications. You may not agree, but at least you aren't insulted.

    The ending of "Diamond Men", for me, was somewhere between these two points.

    Is the ruse Robert Forester's character pulls off at movie's end morally acceptable? It certainly is an undeniable case of comeuppance. His company is the process of demonstrating the kind of selective "institutional memory" that many boomers are experiencing first hand these days as companies are saying, "Pension? What pension?" Was his situation carefully engineered to touch base among the boomers? Even so, as carefully calibrated as the story is to deliver comeuppance to corporatist creeps, the feeling at the end is a sort of middle point.

    As good as the movie is in microcosm (acting, most (not all) of the editing, well-intentioned direction), the best intentions fail to completely overcome the prime necessity of such a story; make me feel fully satisfied with Eddie's (Forester) decision to ream the suits: Keep me from leaving the theater feeling dirty.

    Fact is, I was only half satisfied on this count.

    This is a great movie to see for the acting; highly recommended if you're an acting student. I was totally wowed by Wahlberg. A strange little man in my head was telling me that I shouldn't like his work; that I'd be sure to find something to complain about if I watched him intently enough: And the more closely I watched him, the more I respected him. I don't know how flexible he is, but he certainly shone in this role. I get the sense that he takes direction stunningly well, and I hope to see more of him in the future.
  • =G=23 February 2003
    "Diamond Men" is a slice-of-life flick about an aging traveling diamond salesman (Forster), his protege (Wahlberg), and their experiences on the road. In spite of being a good natured light drama with a heart, "Diamond Men" can't escape its amateurish screen play and obvious low budgetness as it wanders through fields of pure corn all the way to its feel good conclusion. A mildly enjoyable B-flick which should be an okay sofa spud watch if it makes it to broadcast. (C)
  • Great road movie with excellent character development. Unfairly being "rightsized" out of his 30 year diamond sales job, "old timer" Robert Forster, is put on the road to train his successor. This uneasy situation eventually leads to mutual respect, and better understanding of each other. The heartless big company that they now both have to deal with is a perfect example of the "throw away" mentality used by companies to further their own gain at the expense of loyal employees. All I can say is that if you have ever been "let go", you will cherish this film, because in the end things get surprisingly gratifying for our mismatched salesmen. The movie is a winner, and is highly recommended. - MERK
  • I am shocked by all the good reviews on the cover of this movie and on IMDb. It belongs in the $2 bin at your local video store. To say that this is a B movie is extremely generous.

    Besides lacking a single redeemable character, only slightly better than average acting, and an ugly 80's style picture quality, the script for this film is dull and lifeless. This film is not only boring--it is pathetic. (Admittedly, there is occasionally some mildly interesting chemistry between the two main characters.) Even the final plot twist--rather, the only plot twist--does not save this film.

    Rent "Diamond Men" if you must, but do not hesitate to turn it off once you become appraised of its worthlessness. 2 out of 10.
  • movieman_kev29 September 2003
    Great film about Eddie (a superb Robert Forster) having to train young upstart, Eddie (Donnie Wahlberg) in the diamond selling biz. Their chemistry is superb. The dialog just crackles & it pulls you right into this film. Of course one knows where the film's headed way in advance, but that doesn't distract from the brilliant acting in this character study. I highly recommend it & i rarely hand out suck accolades easily.

    Where I saw It: Showtime

    My Grade: A

    Eye Candy: Both Kristen Minter as Cherry and Sannah Laumeister as Amber drop their tops (and at what may be a first Nikki Fritz as Fran leaves hers covered, heh go figure)
  • I recently saw this film at the Stony Brook Film Festival. This is a very clever film with very good acting and writing. Robert Forster's performance is key to the success of the film and he pulls it off wonderfully. Donnie Wahlberg, while not my favorite actor, provides capable support. Bess Armstrong looks great, she has been a favorite actress of mine for years. The rest of the cast does well in support, but ultimately it is Forster who carries the movie to its success. Dan Cohen has a hit on his hands, I hope to see more of his work in the future.
  • I went to see this film for two reasons: one, because I stupidly thought it was a Coen brother who directed it (wonder how many people made the same mistake!), and two, because the reviews I read said it was a small film. I generally end up being disappointed by big films, so I thought let's try this.

    It was enjoyable, indeed, as everyone has already said, but I look for more than just entertainment in a film.

    This one had a predictable story, and what kept me watching were the likeable characters, who unfortunately got a tad bit too likeable towards the second half of the film.

    I enjoyed watching it, but wouldn't see it again. Go and see something more challenging instead, like Buffalo 66.
  • Eddie (Robert Forster) is a top jewelry salesman for his Pennsylvania company. As he carries diamonds quietly to the small cities of the state, a great many mom-and-pop jewelry stores buy his wares. Until one fateful day, that is. Eddie has a heart attack and, although he recovers, his company wants to let him go because he is a liability for guarding the precious gems he carries with him. Begging for his job as a source of stability for this new widower, his firm finally relents. The catch? He must train a new, brash underling named Bobby (Donnie Wahlberg) in the ways of selling to smaller operations. Its a mismatch from day one. Eddie favors jazz, Bobby likes rock. Eddie is a reserved, quietly attractive man while Bobby, fairly cute, chases various woman while getting inebriated. But, when push comes to shove, Bobby breaks down and tells Eddie he needs this job desperately, so could they just "get along"? Slowly, a relationship builds. But, is Eddie only training Bobby as his eventual replacement? Will noble Ed still have a position? We shall see but in the meantime, several unexpected events occur. Do you like surprising endings? This slow moving, reflective film is a jewel, truly, for those who don't need non-stop thrills. Forster gives the performance of a lifetime as good guy Eddie, someone very admirable in a world of conniving jerks. Wahlberg, too, surprises with a strong, sensitive turn. Bess Armstrong and Jasmine Guy provide great support. Its an unusual treat to visit small cities in PA while the outstanding script and sure direction enchant the viewer. Truly, this film is a precious stone among many zircon-like movies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Please don't read this if you haven't seen the picture.

    Lots of useful comments here say it nearly all, but there's one point that bothered me, I wonder whether others who liked this little movie found this point bothersome too. I'm not talking about the twist at the end in itself, which as some have noted is an ambiguous pay-off, but about Robert Forster's character's explanation of it.

    "I had this hidden drawer installed in my car-trunk where I would put the real diamonds, leaving a briefcase of theatrical jewellery in the trunk instead," he told his friend, and the movie cameoed him opening the hidden drawer. My immediate problem with this was: excuse me, a briefcase full of glittering fake diamonds is going to cost a small fortune in itself --- perhaps one-twentieth the value of the real jewels, or about $50,000. Where was a humble salesman going to find that kind of cash? Oh well, just another far-fetched plot element to add to the great big heap of them in Movieland, but for me the twist at the end spoiled a film whose charm lay in its feel of authenticity. For me, this could have continued into the pay-off, with the couple finding happiness living together on humble incomes on realistic trajectories.
  • jean_ignatuk22 October 2001
    The best part about this movie, for me, was seeing Lancaster's Neptune Diner, Elizabethtown's Red Rose Motel, Lebanon's Farmers First Bank and tons of other Central PA landmarks on the silver screen. It's so cool to see a movie filmed where you live, especially when you live in such a po-dunk area. But beyond the local attractions, the movie is great! The acting is superb, the plot line keeps the viewer interested and the ending does not disappoint. It's the best work Donnie Wahlberg has done since NKOTB. Honestly - he was really good!! His character was very believable. Bess Armstrong put in a great performance - it took me the whole movie to figure out who she is ... she played the mom from My So Called Life. And Jasmine Guy (Southern Princess from A Different World, as some might recall), also puts in a great performance as the Madame of a whore house. Of course, Robert Forster is always great. All in all, a great movie worth seeing.
  • I just saw a free "prescreening" of this movie at the Motion Picture Association screening room in Washington DC. Apparently this movie is being re-released. Don't know if it's any different from the version released last year, which I didn't see. Anyway, I highly recommend it. This is a movie for adults, with interesting characters, fine performances by Robert Forster, Donnie Wahlberg and Bess Armstrong in the leads, and an entertaining, unpredictable storyline about a 60-ish wholesale diamond salesman (Forster) who has to break in a 20-ish rookie salesman (Wahlberg) to take over his job servicing jewelry stores throughout central Pennsylvania. Armstrong plays a masseuse and sometime prostitute who becomes the love interest of the older man.

    This is one of those quirky "small" films with no big name stars, which probably won't do nearly as well at the box office as it deserves to. It focuses on character development and telling a story, with no special effects or shoot-outs or car crashes. I was most surprised by Donnie Wahlberg, who showed himself to be a much more attractive and nuanced actor than his more famous brother Mark.

    Go see this if it opens at a theater near you. If it ends up going quickly to video, then rent it. You won't be sorry.
  • I had the opportunity to watch Diamond Men two nights ago, at a private screening in Manhattan, NY. The perception seemed to be that this movie was geared towards a more "mature" crowd but my sister and I (in our twenties) seemed to enjoy the humor and dialogue between the two very talented actors - Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg.

    The flow of the story was well connected and the locations in the film were well-suited for its plot.

    I give it a thumbs up and would definitely watch it again.
  • cvega2516 August 2001
    I saw this movie yesterday, August 15th, 2001. It was a great movie. The characters were great and the story moved at a steady pace which kept me very interested. It never got boring..it kept me anxious as to what would happen next. Donnie Wahlberg gave a fantastic performance. Move over Mark..your brother is right behind you! He's a definite up and coming actor.
  • bklyn_peach15 August 2001
    I had the chance to see this movie at a film festival last summer in the Hamptons. It was definitely worth the 2 hour ride from the city. The film is light hearted w/ a very nice story. Donnie Wahlberg's character is charming & lovable. He tries to act like a know-it-all but he has a heart of gold. I can't picture anyone better for this role then him. Robert Forster was great as the so called straight man. It was nice to see him in the role like this. As for Bess Armstong & Jasmine Guy,it was like these roles were made for them. These women DEFINITELY know how to pick & choose their roles. Both women were strong characters who were in total control of their lives & knew exactly want they wanted & how to get it. If you get the chance go & see this film. You will not regret it.
  • I loved this movie! It was light-hearted but it also had a message. One cannot leave this movie without feeling fulfilled. The chemistry between Robert Forster's and Donnie Wahlberg's characters is great! They show that even two guys with nothing in common can find a common ground and become friends. Plus one gets to see a whole new side to Mr. Wahlberg's acting. Proving that he can play more characters than just a thug with a heart. It is definitely worth the ticket price!
  • rkraus-225 February 2002
    Went into this movie not expecting much but came out very satisfied. Lots of cliches but all characters very well portrayed. Moves along well without slowing down. If you liked Robert Forster in "Jackie Brown", you'll like this movie.
  • I loved this movie! There are moments of absolute laugh out loud humor, and serious drama to tell the story of an average man who is pushed out of his career by uncontrollable circumstances. Donnie Wahlberg and Robert Forrester are a wonderful, unexpected combination. Go see this movie! You will NOT regret it!
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