|Genre: Drama, Comedy, Psychodrama, Urban, Disturbing|
Plot: Is the dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?
-- Bruce Springsteen, "The River"
I'm Jimmy O'Brien, and ice cream runs through my veins.
JIMMY O'BRIEN (Frank Whaley) is a stand-up comedian. Not a very good one, which explains his day job at Tops Grocery, where he stocks shelves with his best friend RAY (Ethan Hawke) and pilfers cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Like any dreamer, Jimmy yearns to escape his working class roots and some day make it big. And he would, too, if not for the nagging details of his small life.
Jimmy lives with his high school sweetheart ANNIE (Carla Gugino), their daughter WENDY (Jillian Stacom) and his wheelchair-bound grandmother RUTH (Lynn Cohen) in a sagging house propped among the stark suburban sprawl of blue collar New Jersey. Burdened with a run-down car, Ruth's failing health and, after being fired from Tops, a quick succession of low-paying jobs, Jimmy grows increasingly irritable and distant. Despite his best efforts, he seems to float on the precipice of manhood, torn between devotion to his family and the relentless echo of his dreams.
I'm Jimmy O'Brien, young, fresh, angry.
As the pressures of his home-life mount, Jimmy finds release amid a lonely stretch of comedy clubs along the Jersey turnpike. Every Tuesday—in some
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