November 2001
Diamond Men

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

Diamond Men

Distributor:Panorama Entertainment
Director:Daniel M. Cohen
Screenwriter:Daniel M. Cohen
Cast:Robert Forster, Donnie Wahlberg, Bess Armstrong, Jasmine Guy, George Coe
Running Time:100 Minutes

Every employee at one point or another has dreams of making lots of money via working hard or hitting the lottery and then quitting their job. When reality sinks in, they find that the longer they stay at their current job, the possibility of reaching the pot of gold diminishes. As new technology comes in every day, adjustment is not always easy. It becomes more difficult when one now has to train the person who will eventually take over their job. “Diamond Men” offers a refreshing new look at how one man has worked hard only to be put out to pasteur when he’s near retirement. In what may be his most defining moment of his acting career, Robert Forster holds the picture together.

Eddie Miller (Robert Forster) is a traveling salesman close to being let go because he’s near retirement. Eddie doesn’t feel he’s ready to quit or be fired. As a widow, his job is his life. After pleading with his boss, he gets a stay but with one condition. He must train the new kid on the block, Bobby Walker (Donnie Walhberg). Bobby has some sales experience but not in the diamond industry. He thinks he knows it all, but he’s not even close. His interest in women is more apparent than his interest in work. When Eddie gets tired of Bobby’s treatment of him as the “old guy” and lets him go, Bobby apologizes and confesses that he really needs his help in learning the business. As the two grow closer, Bobby tries to “hook up” Eddie through the help of his trusted friend Tina (Jasmine Guy). Tina runs an escort service and introduces Eddie to Katie (Bess Armstrong), a woman of mystery who gardens on the side. Sooner or later, Eddie gets more than he bargained for and his life is turned upside down.

What makes this film unique is the performance by the cast. It is very laid back and unforced. Forster, thought to be a forget ton actor from the 70s until his comeback in “Jackie Brown,” proves that he can carry a picture if given the chance. Donnie Walhberg shows a much better range in his acting than his previous outings (Ransom, The Sixth Sense). Jasmine Guy, who has done mostly plays and musicals since leaving the TV show “A Different World,” shows that she should get more roles in the future. It’s a small role, but her mark is made. First time director Daniel M. Cohen has put together a very fine film that has all the elements (humor, suspense, and intrigue) that make this film stand above a number of mediocre films of the same genre.


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