Just The Ticket Review

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Gary 'The Man' Starke (Garcia) is a talented ticket tout with the gift of the gab, but he's getting old, and his confidence is fading. His partner (MacDowell) has left him, and there's someone muscl;ing in on his turf. He needs to get out of the game with a big bundle, and settle down. His perfect chance is the Pope's visit to New York...


Andy Garcia liked this story so much he also produced. It's easy to see why he fell head over heels for this labour of love. It's a realistic love story written more for the heart than the head, but sadly, it's unlikely to restore the lustre its two stars had at the beginning of the decade.

Garcia is Gary, an assured, successful street animal - a ticket tout who could sell snow to an Eskimo. Gary spends his days strutting his stuff outside museums, concert halls and sport stadiums and runs a happy band of street merchants, getting his inspiration from burnt-out mentor Benny (Bradford). Yet Gary is rapidly losing confidence and faith. The love of his life Linda (MacDowell) leaves him after she becomes tired of his broken promises and now a slick operator is ruthlessly taking over his patch. So Gary decides to get out while he can and win back his angel but first he needs a nest egg, and the perfect once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents itself in the form of the Pope's Easter Mass at Yankee Stadium.

Mixing pathos and humour, this makes subtle observations about society and proves that the power of companionship shouldn't be underestimated. Garcia is good as The Man (as he likes to call himself) and he and MacDowell make a convincing couple. But it's Bradford as Gary's hard of hearing, loyal educator that manages to stand out from the crowd.

Shot in a raw, up close and personal style with naturalistic lighting, the skilful camerawork easily complements the story. However, it tends to drag in its more sombre moments and like many love affairs, it's imperfect in places. But sniping aside, this small scale tear-jerker deserves to find an audience.