Looking for an Echo
USA // R // $26.98 // April 13, 2002
Review by Matt Langdon | posted November 5, 2002
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Graphical Version
Looking For an Echo is basically a made-for-TV male weepy about appreciating what you have despite lost opportunities from the past. The basic story is about an almost 50-year-old doo-wop singer named Vinnie (Armand Assante) - who was a popular young music star in the 1960's for a group called Vinnie and the Dreamers - who now lives a modest life of neither fame nor fortune in Brooklyn.

Vinnie's wife died many years earlier and he has had to raise two sons and daughter. He lives with one of his son's (Edoardo Ballerini) - who is an upcoming pop singer - and contends with the illness of his daughter (Christy Carlson Romano) who is in the hospital with leukemia.

Vinnie pays his bills by working in a bar and playing music at bar mitzvahs with his buddy – and former Dreamer band member – Vic (Joe Grafisi). Life isn't really too tough for old Vinnie but he does have regrets about not fulfilling his life since the glory days. But at least he does have a family, his old band is talking again and things are looking up since he started dating his daughter's nurse Joanne (Diane Venora).

Looking For an Echo, directed by Marin Davidson (who also directed Eddie and The Cruisers) deals with the angst of nostalgia and all those issues that well-to-do middle age guys deal with. The biggest problem is that the film doesn't know how to let go of its conventional trappings and, worse, it is drenched in sentimentalism.

Some may like the film just for these reasons – plus the performances are all rather good and the doo-wop music is…well acceptable to some people. But if you don't want to see a film that's as predictable as yesterday's news then you'd be advised to stay away.

Video:
Presented in 1.33:1 the image looks very good. It's not too cinematic but fits the TV screen nicely. The image is sharp and the colors are saturated and there is no detectable compression artifact or edge enhancement.

Audio:
The 2.0 surround sound is good. Most of the film comes through loud and clear. The score sounds good and the dialogue is clear.

Extras:
The only extras are a trailer and a short bio on a few of the actors.

Overall:
Looking For an Echo is a by-the-numbers film about a has-been middle-aged pop star dealing with is fall from fame. The film is well acted and the technical aspects are good. If you like conventional, emotional uplifting dramas then this is a good film to watch. If you are turned off by the kind of schmaltz these types of films produce then you'd be advised to miss it.



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