Trouble on the Corner


An A-list of New York actors, including Tony Goldwyn, Charles Busch, Debi Mazar, Roger Rees, Edie Falco, and Tammy Grimes, worked for scale in Alan Madison’s first feature, Trouble on the Corner, and in return got to camp outrageously. The psycho-comedy is a revenge fantasy for therapy patients who believe their shrinks are nuttier than they are. At the center is psychologist Jeff (Goldwyn), a milquetoast with a scary-mommy wife (Falco). We know we’re in fairy-tale land because though Jeff has a practice, he lives in a decrepit tenement in the meat-packing district. Around him flap neighborhood eccentrics— the cross-dressing tarot reader (Busch), the pack-rat widow (Grimes)— who act proud to be clichés. By day Jeff hears tales of sexual obsession; at night he’s lucky to get a handjob from his wife. When a chunk of ceiling comes down in the bathroom, enabling him to spy on his glamorous neighbor (Mazar), his life begins to crack open, too. Once his vicious, libidinal side takes the reins, the movie careens enjoyably, as Jeff ups his fees and goads patients to murder their spouses. The film is pure silliness, and Rees is especially enjoyable as a Mamet-talking lawyer who makes nary a move without his three bull mastiffs.

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