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Dominick and Eugene

MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for violence, language, and adult situations.

Reviewed by: Brett Willis

Moral Rating: Average
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Older Teen to Adult
Genre: Drama
Length: 1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release: 1988
USA Release: March 18, 1988 (NYC)
Cover Graphic from Dominick and Eugene
Featuring Tom Hulce, Ray Liotta, Jamie Lee Curtis, Todd Graff, Mimi Cecchini
Director Robert M. Young

“Dominick and Eugene” was recommended to me as a good study in family relationships. That it is, but it has a larger amount of disturbing material than I was expecting.

“Nicky” Luciano (Tom Hulce) is borderline retarded from a childhood injury. His job as a garbage collector puts food on the table and helps to send his twin brother “Gino” (Ray Liotta) through medical school. They’ve always been close and mutually supportive; but now Gino must either leave Nicky behind while he does his residency, or uproot him and take him to another city. Also, Gino has a new love interest, fellow intern Jennifer (Jamie Lee Curtis).

Warnings: This film cannot be watched without emotional involvement, and there are a lot of heavy themes to wade through in order to find out how the problem of Gino’s residency is resolved. Profanity is thick at times. Nicky suffers many indignities (harassment from kids, a co-worker trying to get him drunk and hook him up with a hot date to “make him a man,” a drug dealer using him as an unsuspecting courier). There are several instances of implied sex, some violence, and a subplot of serious child abuse. To see the central theme of brotherly love (which is worthwhile) played out, you must also take the rest of the package.

Now that I know where to fast forward, I’d probably watch this again sometime. Of the films I’ve seen on this theme, it’s neither the best nor the worst, although Hulce’s performance is quite outstanding.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
This is is a good movie. Tom Hulce puts in a fine performance as a retarded adult who is selflessly putting his brother (played by Ray Liotta) through medical school. A couple of story lines run concurrently—that of child abuse as well as the tension between brothers. It was a sleeper film when it came out, and is worth seeing. My Ratings: [3/4½]