Angie [1994]

This slice-of-life film out of Bensonhurst begins like a Working Girl rip-off: earnest and endearing woman leaves neighborhood boyfriend (James Gandolfini) to find happiness with a suave professional (Stephen Rea). But there Angie turns into a tale of self-discovery. As with Todd Graff's previous script, Used People, the characters are colorful but never seem more than broad brush stokes. What is left is an admirable acting piece by Geena Davis, who shoulders an entire movie for the first time with winning success, although many will see her mother-to-be as unrealistic. Director Martha Coolidge's (Rambling Rose) direction underscores Angie without wild mannerisms or a heavy accent, making her a memorable character that was originally to be played by Madonna. The trailers were misleading, showing clips from the back half of the movie. It's more about independence than motherhood, and Davis stubbornly desires to be happy and on her own. Plenty of laughs thrown in, mostly from Rea's endearing loafer. Gandolfini is excellent in his first major role. --Doug Thomas

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