This film brings us back to the year 1958 when the clubs in New York were bouncing comedians and musicians. We are introduced to Stuey Walters (Steven Weber), who works for his dad Willie (Alan Alda), and they form what is known as the Walters Talent Agency.
Stuey has just returned from war, where he gets involved hiring acts for his father, who’s company is on the downside from lack of talent and loyaltie. Stuey just seems to love the women and night life, while his heart is not in the job as much as his father’s is. The company has one star, and it is their only popular star at that, and his name is Lou Montana (Brad Garrett), a crass and demeaning stand up comedian. Willie demeans him one night by telling him his head is getting to big, so Lou high-tales it to a bigger and better agency. The Walters Talent Agency takes a downfall, and no more talent can be found for the father/son team. But then Stuey tries to introduce a yound comedian by the name of Freddy (David Deblinger), who believes that he has what it takes, even though no one else does. Through this introduction, we learn that the father and son team have relationship issues that are unspoken, but they surround the mysterious death of Willies wife, and Stueys mother.
This film studies the hardships of showbiz, the realities of not letting go, the ups and downs of relationships, and the fragments of loyalties that surround our everyday life. WIth good characterizations, and good pacing, this could be an great film to watch if you are at all interested in the nightclubs of the 1950’s.
“Club Land” was better than average for most made-for-cable films. It had good direction, good writing (if you do not count the language), and good characterization. It deals with the power of wealth, deciet, and the dangers of living a lie, as well as the down side of drinking and womanizing. Director Saul Rubinek does a great job with the direction, especially the opening sequence, which is a 12 minute introduction to the nightclub hotspot of the film, and it is all done in one take and one shot. For some interesting sidenotes, the father and son team both teach each other alot during the course of the film. For example; Stuey is demeaned by his father for womanizing, as he stated “It is irresponsible”, while Stuey shows his father that emotions need to be expressed, and that shutting the doors to yourself is a very bad thing. This film would have been great for the 12-17 year old crowd, but the fowl language ruins it. If the language could be cut, it would make a great story about the moralities and family values of showbusiness for the 12 year-old and up crowd to see. If you can get past the language, this is a great film that deals with loyalty, responsibility, and the relational values of father and son.