It plays like a guiltier and more tormented Scorsese film, if that’s even possible.Harvey Keitel does some of his strongest work as Jimmy, a 32-year-old torn between his loyalty to loan-shark dad Michael V. Gazzo and his love for music (classical, mostly, but also pop tunes). A hopeful pianist who chokes whenever someone is listening to him playing, Jimmy becomes obsessed with his own sexuality, engaging in rough, joyless clinches with girlfriend Tisa Farrow and Mafia moll Tanya Roberts.
Probably one of the most naked psychodramas of its decade; writer-director James Toback refuses to censor his more febrile fantasies, like the stereotype of sexually omniscient black men who mistreat women (Jim Brown plays a stud who has the movie’s most notorious moment involving two women he wants to kiss each other). Films like Black & White and Two Girls and a Guy twenty years later showed that Toback hadn't outgrown the obsessions seen here.Flawed, and slow at times, but fascinating. Remade in 2005 as the French film 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped.'