At the outset of Dito Montiel’s adaptation of his own memoir, we meet Dito (Robert Downey Jr.) in LA in 2005 as he reads from his “wonderful book.” But a phone call from mom (Dianne Wiest) cuts his glory short and he heads home to Queens to attend to his ailing estranged dad (Chazz Palminteri). The past intrudes also by way of Montiel’s frenetic, hyper-stylized flashbacks. When he leaves off the razzle-dazzle, the familiar story of a neighborhood kid (Shia LaBeouf plays young Dito) torn between art and brutality (represented by two friends) and suppressed by a loving but non-comprehending father almost makes the bad behavior and pretentious directing bearable.
On the Web
A Guid to Recognizing Your Saints's Web site: http://www.firstlookstudios.com/guide