Local Color

Rated 1.0

Some lousy movies have such good intentions, you want to find some form of faint praise to bestow, but the best I can say about George Gallo’s the-summer-I-grew-a-pair “heartwarmer” is that it’s unpretentious. Well, it is pretentious, but only about the unpretentiousness of painting nature, sticking it to “the critics” and being nice to insufferable old people. Armin Mueller-Stahl plays the cantankerous Russian painter who teaches a callow youth (Trevor Morgan, who seems nice enough) how to “see colors” during the summer of 1974. If that sounds insubstantial and thin for a feature film—yeah, it is pretty thin, isn’t it? The young painter narrates from the “wisdom” of adulthood, but with lines like, “I never went to college, I studied at the museums … mostly art, but I minored in life,” he may as well have majored in annoying clichés.