Having apparently anointed himself the American cinema's poet of decadence, filmmaker Larry Clark follows his critically acclaimed Kids with yet another tour through the darker regions of American squalor. Another Day in Paradise--even the title screams of amateurish irony--may be powerfully acted by a fine cast of new and familiar faces, but how many times can we eavesdrop on the lives of murderous, self-destructive heroin junkie thieves before we just get morosely depressed? James Woods and Melanie Griffith are superb as a pair of surrogate parents to the young couple (Vincent Kartheiser, Natasha Gregson Wagner) whom they recruit as accomplices in a series of robberies and dangerous deals, but what exactly is the point of this overindulgent, gutter-mouthed, and ultimately sickening portrait of sickening people? Clark may be good at providing an authentic vision of America's ugly underbelly, but before this movie's half over you're likely to be screaming, "Enough already!" By the time Kartheiser's character has finally escaped from his dreadful "parents," it's clear that Clark has very little story to tell, and not much of it is really worth telling. As for why Woods's character gets such a kick out of saying "Boo-Yah!"--well, your guess is as good as ours. --Jeff Shannon
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