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Movie Review: Prince of Broadway

Alternate Title: Off, Off, Off Broadway

Story: I love films that are shot in my neighborhood. Better yet, I love when I see my apartment building in the movie. Even if this film wasn't as good as it is - it would have an edge with me simply because of its location. That said, it is really entertaining, edgy, heartfelt and a beautiful slice of the Big Apple. It is rare to see a film about a man and a baby that doesn't automatically qualify for the Lifetime TV Network.

The Prince of Broadway tells the tale of Lucky, a charming, undocumented Ghanaian street hustler who works for Levon, an Armenian-Lebanese immigrant (with a Green Card). Levon operates an illegal storefront whose back room sells knock off shoes, bags, wallets, belts and more. Lucky hustles the customers into the store and earns a few bucks here and there.

Out of the blue, Lucky is handed an 18 month old baby, by an old girlfriend who insists he is the father and says it is his turn to watch his son. Needless to say - Lucky's world is turned upside down. We watch as Lucky tries to cope with this new responsibility. We can't help but root for him as he gropes his way towards fatherhood, responsibility and reality.

The film was sensitively directed, edited and written by Sean Baker. Co-writing credits go to Mr. Baker and Darren Dean. Should you see it? Absolutely. This is a part of the Big Apple that is not a typical tourist destination but demonstrates what makes New York City so very special.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vinb7mB_hvw

Acting: Prince Adu as Lucky, is sheer beauty. Karren Karagulian as Levon, is wonderful. Aiden Noesi as little Prince could not have been cuter. Keyali Mayaga as girlfriend Karina, is believable.Kat Sanchez as Linda is terrific as is Victoria Tate as Nadia.

Trivia: We were fortunate to meet the director, Sean Baker, both before the film and at an impromptu Q & A after the film. This hard working young man was hustling outside of the Angelika Film Center for people to go see his film. If he could get enough people into seats this weekend the Center would run his film for another week. Buzz', was what Mr. Baker was looking for. I hope this review helps. I learned the film was shot in 35 days for $35,000. His own editing skills cut the costs further and they were able to produce it for $90,000. He told us that Prince Adu, introduced himself to the film maker and said if he were cast in the leading role - he would get him the rest of the cast. Terrific stuff.

Predilection: I had seen this trailer awhile back and thought it looked interesting.

Critters: A very sweet purring orange cat and a Dalmatian.

Food: Some interesting African fare.

Blatant Product Placement: If you count knock offs as product placement (and I don't) there are loads of them.

Soundtrack: Gritty

Opening Titles: The titles are at the end.

Visual Art: NYC always looks good. The apartment that Lucky has and is rasing the baby in - was perfect.

Theater Audience: About 40 people.

Weather: It takes place in winter.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure where this film would be headed. I was just hoping for the best.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Probably not.

Big Screen or Rental: I hope the 'buzz' gets this award winning film some attention across the US. Go to the big screen if you can find it.

Length: One hour and 45 minutes.