A Brother's Kiss | Chicago Reader

A Brother's Kiss

This story about two brothers gets away from writer-director Seth Zvi Rosenfeld as soon as he abandons their childhood to concentrate on a period in their adult lives leading up to one day's crucial events. The fierce bond between Lex (Justin Pierce) and his younger brother Mick (Joshua Danowsky)—and between both boys and their alcoholic mother (Cathy Moriarty)—is dramatized with depth and economy in a long flashback. But when Nick Chinlund and Michael Raynor take over as the adult Lex and Mick, the performances and the script slide downhill. Lex, who's never touched drugs or alcohol, gives up all his values overnight, a contrivance that Rosenfeld desperately tries to cover by having Lex synopsize his history to persuade a woman he's just met to take him seriously. Hyping clean living even as it perpetuates myths about the drug culture, this 1996 movie refuses to probe its central characters. In a particularly disingenuous scene Lex inquires about Mick's sexuality, and Mick's response, while clearly intended to be revelatory, only shows that he's thinly scripted—and understands as little about himself as we do.

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