No People Like Show People
If you want a fly-on-the-wall view into the private lives of theatre royalty, Just 45 Minutes from Broadway is the movie for you. Independent filmmaker Henry Jaglom has transferred his successful play of the same name into a revealing motion picture. Co-starring Tanna Frederick and Judd Nelson, the film deals with relationships between members of a theatrical family so obsessed with acting that they view other people as “civilians” --which causes considerable difficulties when one of their own chooses another profession.
While watching the events unfold on screen, we get to see how volatile these thespians can be, especially two sisters who fall for the same man. We also learn shocking secrets concerning other family members and friends. Throughout the movie, fascinating conversations occur -- as in all Jaglom films. Histrionics must be expected, of course. After all, these are dedicated theatre folks! But no matter how much arguing and yelling goes on, it’s clear these people care deeply for each other.
Playing Pandora, the younger sister, Tanna Frederick (Queen of the Lot, Hollywood Dreams, Irene in Time) stands out. As usual, she takes over the screen, and Pandora -- an actress through and through -- might be her most emotionally charged role yet. A sibling with mixed feelings about her big sis and her own place in the world, she’s also suffering from a recent romantic breakup. Frederick, always fearless in her performances, lets it all hang out as Pandora careens from one feeling to another while trying to understand herself.
Julie Davis (Finding Bliss), as Betsy -- the older sister -- projects just the right contrast to Frederick’s character. She endows Betsy with an overly practical, businesslike demeanor plus a hint of vulnerability. Judd Nelson (Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire) excels as the third member of this unusual romantic triangle. He’s Betsy’s fiancé, another “civilian” who seems the most reasonable person in this spirited gathering. Other cast members (Diane Salinger, Jack Heller, David Proval and Harriet Schock) add their special touches to Jaglom’s intriguing dramedy.
It’s important to mention that some delicious surprises are in store for the audience here. However, I better not say any more about that. You’ll have to see Just 45 Minutes from Broadway to find out what they are!
(Released by Rainbow Releasing; not rated by MPAA.)