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Brooklyn Rules

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Three working-class pals grow up in Brooklyn in the 1980s, and flirt with the mob, with predictable consequences. Bobby (Jerry Ferrara) is the sweet, lumpy guy who just wants to live peaceably at home; Carmine (Scott Caan) the player in a shiny shirt who's lured by the prestige the local crime family bestows; and Michael (Freddie Prinze Jr.) surfs the conflict between the two. Michael's dabbling in Manhattan, attending college and wooing a Connecticut maiden (Mena Suvari). This is well-trod material, and nothing here -- not the poor acting, dialogue or period detail -- lifts Michael Corrente's dramedy above average. The fresh-faced, lightweight Prinze especially barely registers any Brooklyn grit; Alec Baldwin fares better as the local crime boss. But even if you cut our boys some slack, the script, by frequent Sopranos scribe Terence Winter, resolves in an amateurish fashion, a triumph of cheap cinema clichés rather than insightful drama. Starts Fri., June 22. (AH) [capsule review]

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