“Dominick and Eugene” (1988) has Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta play the parts of twin brothers, one of whom is slightly mentally retarded while the other studies to be a doctor. Hulce plays the slow witted brother. He exchanges comic books with an 11 year old boy on his garbage pick up route, loves pretending he is the Incredible Hulk and has problems remembering his responsibility to walk the dog. The brother played by Ray Liotta is saddled with some of the “adult” concerns of life; trying to plan his medical career, making progress in his love life and keeping his somewhat naïf brother out of trouble with drug dealers, hookers and neighbourhood thugs. Jamie Lee Curtis, the love interest for Gino, finds out that she really doesn’t know what she’s getting into by getting involved with her fellow medical student. She’s caught in the middle.
There’s a bit to work out in the space of two hours. Some startling revelations relating to manslaughter, child abuse and kidnapping could be interpreted by the overly cynical film critic to be contrived and overly predictable vehicles for sentimentality. I prefer to see the events and the characters as true to life. It may be hard for some to believe, but people like this and situations like this really do exist. I for one have met up with some of them. The interpretation of the movie may rest more with the inner state of mind of the reviewer than the actual skill of the actors, directors and writers involved in the movie making. It’s a film that could go either way. I personally put a full three hankie warning on the film (with lots of nose blowing and tear wiping anticipated for anyone who is the least bit emotionally engaged).
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See a video clip from "Dominick and Eugene" (1988)