Everyone has to start somewhere. Even legends like Martin Scorsese. I look at directorial debuts like Dark Star, She's Gotta Have It, and Who's That Knocking at My Door (just to name a few) and I realize that few directors start out as masters. Sometimes their first films are terrible, and they've got a ways to go before they turn in their first masterpieces. This film is boring as fuck and hinges on the Catholic guilt of a man who flies off the handle when he finds out his girlfriend was once raped. In his view, this means she's not pure and is unworthy of his hand in marriage. And this dude is supposed to be our hero.
J.R. (Keitel) is your typical New York hood. He's unemployed and enjoys drinking with his friends. One day, on the ferry, he meets the brilliantly named Girl (Bethune. And on a side note, women have never fared well in Scorsese's films. They're either whores, unfaithful, or have no names. Unless they're his mother). They fall in love, but when she confesses that she was raped once by her ex, J.R. loses his cool and leaves her. How dare she have a traumatic experience. Didn't she think about how that would affect him? After some soul-searching, J.R. realizes he still loves her and tells her that he forgives her. She promptly tells him to take a hike, he calls her a whore, and she escalates her request to "get the fuck out." End of movie.
Who exactly is this for? Is this Scorsese working out his own situation with a girl and Catholic guilt? Maybe. Sure, you can see the beginnings of a promising filmmaker from time to time, but most of the time, you're just waiting for something to happen. I know they can't all be Goodfellas, but a little bit extra would still be appreciated.