×

Light of Day

At heart, Light of Day is a tortured family melodrama with a rock 'n' roll beat. Renegade daughter Patti Rasnick (Joan Jett) and her younger brother Joe (Michael J. Fox) play in the Barbusters, a talented but routine bar band that performs in taverns around Ohio.

With:
Michael J. Fox Gena Rowlands Joan Jett Michael McKean Thomas G. Waites Cherry Jones

At heart, Light of Day is a tortured family melodrama with a rock ‘n’ roll beat. Renegade daughter Patti Rasnick (Joan Jett) and her younger brother Joe (Michael J. Fox) play in the Barbusters, a talented but routine bar band that performs in taverns around Ohio.

Director Paul Schrader, who also wrote the screenplay, has spread enough guilt around this family to fill a book. Jett has a four-year-old son (Billy Sullivan) but won’t tell anyone who the father is. She hates her mother (Gena Rowlands) despite mom’s attempts to show her God’s way. With the passive father (Jason Miller) and the dutiful son (Fox), this could be anyfamily USA as written by Eugene O’Neill.

Everyone wears their emotions on his sleeve, except Jett who wears them on her shoulder. Escape hatch from all this backbiting is supposed to be rock ‘n’ roll but when one talks too much about the saving grace of music, as Jett does, it tends to come out as childish and silly.

Despite the over-the-edge quality of her character, Rowlands makes even the most ludicrous lines seem feasible. Fox is basically miscast as the good-natured brother who idolizes his sister and tries to cover for her. Jett looks the part and even manages to hit the mark from time to time, but for every hit there’s a miss.

Light of Day

Production: Taft/Barish. Director Paul Schrader; Producer Rob Cohen, Keith Barish; Screenplay Paul Schrader; Camera John Bailey; Editor Jacqueline Cambas; Music Thomas Newman; Art Director Jeannine Claudia Oppewall

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 107 MIN.

With: Michael J. Fox Gena Rowlands Joan Jett Michael McKean Thomas G. Waites Cherry Jones

More Film

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content