Review: ‘Broken’

Pretentious film tricks and cliches galore shatter "Broken," a druggie drama that somehow attracted the combined talents of Heather Graham and Jeremy Sisto. Cast roster may tempt distribs, but this is a better fit for cablers.

Pretentious film tricks and cliches galore shatter “Broken,” a druggie drama that somehow attracted the combined talents of Heather Graham and Jeremy Sisto. No amount symbolism and flashback devices care of helmer Alan White and writer Drew Pillsbury can sustain this basically empty pic about an aspiring female musician whose dreams crash and burn in Los Angeles. Cast roster may tempt distribs, but this is a better fit for cablers.

First seen being rescued from a run-down diner, Hope (Graham) is then captured in the recent past, where she’s landed in the big city to make it big as a singer-songwriter. Will (Sisto) charms her, but his taste for heroin draws her into a dead-end existence, tiresomely rendered on screen. Increasingly strained setting in diner is so ridiculous that explaining it away as being all in Hope’s mind feels like a real cop-out. Graham continues to display her ability to tap into young women with stars in their eyes, but Sisto is undone by a poorly written role.

Broken

Production

A New Films Intl. presentation of a Walk on the Beach production. (International sales: The Film Sales Co., New York.) Produced by Brian Etting, Jerry Wayne. Directed by Alan White. Screenplay, Drew Pillsbury; story, Jeff Lister, Pillsbury.

Crew

Camera (color), Neil Shapiro; editor, Jay Nelson; music, Jeehun Hwang; songs, the Brian Jonestown Massacre; production designer, Charisse Cardenas; costume designer, Louise deTeliga; sound (Dolby Digital), Coleman Metts; sound designer, Jonathan Miller; supervising sound editor, Miller; casting, Victoria Burrows, Scot Boland. Reviewed at AFI Los Angeles Film Festival, Nov. 4, 2006. Running time: 97 MIN.

Cast

With: Heather Graham, Jeremy Sisto, Randall Batinkoff, Jake Busey, Michael Goorjian, Linda Hamilton, Tess Harper, Bianca Lawson, Mark Sheppard.
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