Revisiting old wounds is difficult but letting them fester can be far more damaging. The new film Last Night in Rozzie, which opens on Friday, features two men who need closure and are relying on each other to help it happen.
The film centers on Ronnie Russo (Neil Brown, Jr.), a New York lawyer from Boston who is in the midst of a big case that he needs to nail at work. When he gets a call from an old friend, Joey Donovan (Jeremy Sisto) it’s an inconvenient request to come and visit. Ronnie tries to put it off, but Joey insists. Turns out he’s dying. From his hospital bed, Joey asks Ronnie to intercede and help him see his son. Despite all that’s going on in his life, Ronnie feels compelled to help.
He tracks down Pattie (Nicky Whelan), Joey’s ex and his former crush. He finds a way to re-introduce himself to her life and tries to learn more about how she connected with Joey and how it all went wrong. This eventually leads to opening an old wound for Pattie, learning Joey is less than forthcoming and confronting a secret from his own past that has held him back for years.
This is an interesting concept and one that spins in unexpected directions. Sisto does a nice job as Joey, confined to his bed but still managing to be a looming presence in nearly every scene. He becomes the catalyst for both Ronnie and Pattie to find a way to discuss the pain of the past and begin to move forward.
Whelan gives a nice performance in a supporting role, too, but this is really about Brown. He does the heavy lifting in the lead role and carries a bulk of the narrative. His arc ends up being perhaps the most compelling in the film, which doesn’t wear out its welcome in about an 80-minute running time.
Director Sean Gannet gets the most out of his cast and delivers an emotional punch in the third act. The flashback sequences end up being some of the most compelling, fleshing out the story. The biggest failing here for me was the script. The story feels a little thinly constructed at times and requires a few leaps in logic. The film ends up delivering a satisfying conclusion but it felt like more could have been done with the script.
In the end Last Night in Rozzie is a decent showcase for its primary cast and a film that delivers a few twists. It’s a decent watch.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.