SIFF_poster.jpg
With more faces than story to recommend about it, this Queens-set indie ends--and this is no spoiler at all--with Jackson Browne's famous '70s FM ballad

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New SIFF Review: Roadie

SIFF_poster.jpg
With more faces than story to recommend about it, this Queens-set indie ends--and this is no spoiler at all--with Jackson Browne's famous '70s FM ballad "The Load-Out." Because if you're going to make a drama about a 40-something roadie who's squandered his youth lugging amps for Blue Oyster Cult, there's really only one way to end it. The roadie (TV mug Ron Eldard) returns home under false pretenses, unwilling to admit to his aged widow of a mother (the great Lois Smith) that he's a complete and utter failure.

His old high-school girlfriend (Law & Order graduate Jill Hennessy) is now a neo-folk singer married to a friendly/menacing lout (The Station Agent's Bobby Cannavale), so the roadie lies about his record-industry connections and hopes to rekindle old flames. Director Michael Cuesta did better with such outer-borough frustration in L.I.E.; here, the cycle of delusion and pathos is jukebox-stale and predictable. The roadie's life regrets feel more rooted in the '60s than the '80s (for those who follow Blue Oyster Cult chronology). The whole rueful enterprise seems as dated as a Paddy Chayefsky teleplay--like Marty with Marshall stacks. Eldard has an effective hangdog expression, but nothing can redeem lines like "I could've been great!" Even Jackson Browne knows that life is more complicated than that. BRIAN MILLER (Harvard Exit: 9:30 p.m. Thurs., June 9 and 4 p.m. Sat., June 11.)

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