Recently, I was a proud participant of the New York based SoHo Film Festival. Although the majority of my time was slated for red carpet interviews, I was able to attend the premieres of two feature films. One of those films was The Networker:
Creative genius Victor Ribaudo contrived a tale of both the reality and rigors involved in the re-invention of oneself. He dishes up both a delightful drama and clever comedy, even sprinkling his screenplay with a dash of romantic role play. Donning the directorial cap is one of the elites of the independent industry, John Gallagher. The Networker is evidence of Gallagher's propensity to pull passion straight from the souls of all his actors. As for casting, darling Donna McKenna whipped together an entourage of eclectic entertainers to successfully showcase this story. Regarding production, Steve Stanulis is perfectly planted as one of the lead producers, yet signed on in a secondary role as the lead actor in the film. This duel duty was advantageous not only for Stanulis, but even more so for the audiences who view this film.
The premise behind The Networker circulates around the troubled, then the eventual transformed, main character John Mangano. Mangano's father, having grown tired of John's' juvenile antics, offers him ninety days to basically sink or swim as it relates to his employment at the family firm. Networking is inferred to him as a necessity for nurturing new business, so he embarks upon meeting and meshing with a number of networkers. We watch John navigate through enormous amounts of emotions and expend all his energy attempting to serve as savior to the family business. John's journey is filled with love, loss and laughter, with the ultimate discovery being that proper prioritization of responsibilities reaps a fuller, more functional life.
The Networker hails a hurricane of heavy hitting talent, two of which are this reviewer's personal favorites. William Forsythe's portrayal as John's father, Charles Mangano, reveals a softer side of the actor, allowing him to break free from his stereotypical scary or intentionally intense portrayals. Forsythe is a gem to gaze at on screen in this role, as his familiarity and fondness to the character seems genuine. Sean Young is cast as John's mother, Margie Mangano, and watching her on screen reminded me that true Hollywood types still exist. Young instills in her characters a sense of class and charm, and in this case, left her audiences often times chuckling at her creativity. Deborah Twiss plays Nicole, John's co-worker and potential love interest. Twiss' on-screen chemistry with Stanulis' character is endearing and comes across as natural in nature. Further, her presence throughout the film commands her audience's attention and appreciation, as her portrayal of both a sweet, sincere girl and wounded woman is just brilliant. Jeremy Luke is cast as John's brother, Peter Mangano, and is both hilarious and hugely intricate to the success of the storyline. Luke is original and out of the ordinary in his acting style, and feel that he was perfect as the anal and adored other child. Philip Moon portrays David Finkelstein, one of the many John meets while networking. Moon is imaginative in his role, as frequently his facial gestures do the acting for him, producing gratitude and giggles from the audience. He is the one male in the movie that is both annoying and amusing at the same time, which speaks volumes about his versatility as an actor. Lastly, we have our lead, Steve Stanulis, as John Mangano. He brings to his role an equal amount of sex appeal and sass, and he is clearly convincing as a lost man looking for meaning behind his own madness. Stanulis is a professional whose plentiful passion for his craft is obvious in each and every scene.
The Networker was filled with merriment and messages, thus, you should venture to view this film because it will leave a smile on your soul and a magical memory on your mind."
Cindy Mich, Cin's Chat Corner/BlogTalkRadio (nominated for Best Internet Radio Show)