Prince Of Central Park (2000)

JOHN LEEKLEY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 2000.  Seagal/Nasso Productions.  Screenplay by John Leekley, based on the novel by .Cinematography by .Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This tender story is a terrific viewing choice for the whole family. Kathleen Turner is excellent as a woman whose devastation over a personal loss has ended her marriage with Danny Aiello . Meanwhile, young JJ () is raised by a callous foster parent (Cathy Moriarty) who uses him as a meal ticket, and on the day that he decides he’s had enough of her, runs away to live in Central Park. After befriending the resident troll who lives under a bridge (Harvey Keitel), JJ becomes acquainted with Turner and the two of them lean on each other to patch up the holes that are missing in their lives. It could easily be feel-good schmaltz, but thanks to intelligent directing and sharp performances even its most manipulative moments, including the parts where Moriarty’s trajectory feels like a fairy tale villain, are palatable and satisfying. Nasso is wonderfully appealing as the young hero, and his amiability is partly what makes the film so enjoyable. The lovely has a small part as his estranged mother.

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