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Monday, March 19, 2007

Indie Pick O' The Day: Liberty Heights

This Barry Levinson film is a coming of age story about four friends in 1950’s Baltimore, Maryland. The film deals with racism and relationships. The protagonists are Jewish and run into anti-Semitic behavior among their peers whom they go to school with.

However, Ben a high school senior runs into more racial resistance when he starts dating Sylvia an attractive African-American student at his school. He really falls for this girl and even has to deal with the ignorant attitudes of his family members and friends.

Although this film sounds heavy and dramatic, its actually a lighthearted comedy. Some of the funniest moments in this film occur when Ben meets Sylvia’s parents for the first time and even when Ben and Sylvia attend a James Brown concert. If you look closely, you’ll notice that Sylvia’s father is none other than Dr. Richard Webber who is played by
James Pickens Jr. Yall don’t know who Dr. Webber is? Ok, time for Grey’s Anatomy 101…click here. Another Grey’s Anatomy alumni is in this film...Dr. Alex Karev. That’s Justin Chambers if you don’t watch Grey’s. He plays Trey Tobleseted. This was actually Justin’s first feature film.

Then the film stars
Joe Mantegna who has some gambling debt that he owes to a small-time drug dealer played by Orlando Jones (he also has Anthony Anderson as his sidekick). See, this movie isn’t exactly a drama..its really a comedy. My favorite scenes are with Jones and Anderson in their loan-shark business.

Last but certainly not least, is the yummy-skinny-but-sexy
Adrien Brody. He stars as Ben’s brother Van who is in love with Debbie. The perfect girl who he thinks is just too good for him. She of course doesn’t even realize he exists, but he does everything in his power to get noticed.
It’s a cute quirky film that has some sexy upcoming actors and a down-to-earth storyline about interracial relationships and the dynamics of high school cliques.

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