REVIEW: "Buddy Boy" Offers Unreal Experience
by Laura Kern
(indieWIRE/2.22.2000) -- It's difficult to make heads or tails of Mark Hanlon's feature debut, "Buddy Boy." The script, written by the director, contains some very smart, darkly comic dialogue, but the film, which walks a fine line between fantasy and reality, is a confused one.
Perhaps more confused, though, is the protagonist, Francis, who might be one of the most conflicted characters ever put on screen. Tormented by a crisis of faith -- a subject that is the film's central undercurrent -- it is clear that we are dealing with a complex character. But unfortunately, we never really get into this introvert's mind. Even when he goes to confession, a place where you'd expect some personal revelations, we are only retold events that have already occurred onscreen.
What is apparent, however, is that Francis lives a miserable existence -- in a grimy apartment with what appears to be his alcoholic, mentally abusive mother Sal (Susan Tyrrell). When Francis conveniently finds a hole in a basement door that looks into a neighbor's window, he becomes obsessed with spying on its occupant -