Outside Providence Movie Review

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The latest entry on the long list of follow-up disappointments will have to be Outside Providence, a film sort-of from the Farrelly brothers (There's Something About Mary) with practically none of its charm.

Based on an old novel by Peter Farrelly, this is the (obviously autobiographical to some extent) tale of a good-for-nothing, super-poor kid called Dunph (Hatosy) growing up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (you know, outside Providence). When he gets high and smashes the car into a police cruiser, dad somehow works a deal to get him sent to a prep school in Connecticut, where he finds himself a fish out of water.

Now Dunph is so stupid that he actually thinks Arizona is on the coast. But when he meets a cute girl (Smart) she mends his evil ways and gets him to study. There's wacky hijinks along the way (a pale imitation of Dead Poets Society), which really amounts to a collection of random scenes involving heavy drug use, various pranks, mean school authorities, and George Wendt's character inexplicably coming out of the closet.

Most notable among the players here is Alec Baldwin, apparently doing his best grumpy Jackie Gleeson impersonation as Dunph's father. All of the other players are pretty much forgettable. Which is why, ultimately, this is a movie that goes nowhere after close to two hours.

Is it funny? Occasionally, and fans of the coming-of-age genre will probably be satisfied. Is it Cameron Diaz-hair gel funny? Not even an outside chance.

To the moon, Alice.

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Outside Providence Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 1999

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