No Looking Back (1998)

“Where is it written you gotta be happy all the time?” I always find it enjoyable to watch the personal, low-budget films of Edward Burns and enter a familiar world of likable characters in dysfunctional relationships. In No Looking Back, Lauren Holly portrays “Claudia,” a burnt-out waitress in a seaside blue-collar town with limited opportunities. She lives a rather humdrum life with her unambitious, rather dull boyfriend “Michael” (Jon Bon Jovi). However, things start to get complicated when Claudia’s old flame “Charlie” (Burns) returns after a three-year absence and tries to rekindle the relationship. The solid cast includes Blythe Danner and Connie Britton. Burns once remarked that No Looking Back was “the most personal film I’ve ever made. The one that’s closest to my heart.” The final film in Burns’ “Long Island Trilogy,” which includes The Brothers McMullen (1995) and She’s the One (1996), No Looking Back is complemented by a great soundtrack that includes Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” and Sheryl Crow’s “Home.” No Looking Back totally bombed at the box office and Burns dubbed the film Nobody Saw It.

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