…and the quest to see everything

Dominick and Eugene

Dominick and Eugene is quite homoerotic. Italian American brothers Dominick (Tom Hulce) and Eugene (Ray Liotta) invade each other’s private space, an exaggerated motif on the brothers’ co-dependent relationship. These moments come when both are happy, before the movie’s main dilemma arrives.

It’s also unconventionally cast. This is probably typical of most early entries within certain actors’ CV’s, when agents or even the actors themselves didn’t know in what niche they fit. Besides, this came within Liotta and David Strathairn’s careers before Goodfellas and Good Night and Good Luck. Nonetheless, the main players are convincing in their parts in a movie that tests their versatility. Hulce is a sanitation worker whose developmental problems make no one jealous of him. He’s also into pop culture stuff like The Hulk, Charlie’s Angels and Wrestlemania. He pays for the medical school bills for Eugene, a medical student who tries to keep his family together. Jamie Lee Curtis is Jennifer, Gino’s relatively supportive girlfriend type who cooks for both men. The three learn to have a dysfunctional yet tolerable coexistence, Gino’s plans eventually involve a practice in Stanford without having to take care of Nicky. But Strathairn’s character, a long-haired, moustached working class man within the neighbourhood, enters their lives and drives Nicky into a nervous breakdown. Heavy on conflict, it’s respectful about portraying people of special needs and capably incorporates subtext that make this movie an interesting find.

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