In Hollywood gangster movies of yesteryear, the bad guys always get what’s coming to them in the end, and that was usually a gruesome death. This kind of ending survived even in the famous 1967 trend-setting movie, BONNIE AND CLYDE. Today, however, violent gangsters often survive, as in the case of the movie, MOBSTERS, although they don’t always win. Such is the case with the excessively violent, foul-mouthed feature, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, based on a celebrated novel by ex-con Eddie Little.
James Woods and Melanie Griffith star as a couple of heroin addicts and professional thieves, Mel and Sidney (Sid). Mel and Sid take two teenage petty thieves and lovers under their oily wings: Bobbie and Rosie, played by Vincent Kartheiser (ALASKA and INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD) and Natasha Gregson Wagner (TWO GIRLS AND A GUY), daughter of the late Natalie Wood. They not only introduce Bobbie and Rosie to bigger capers, but also to heroin.
This makeshift family steals some drugs to sell and buys some guns from a weird-looking, Bible-preaching gun dealer, played by James Otis, who blesses Bobbie during the gun sale. The blessing appears to take effect throughout the movie, and especially in the end. Although Rosie dies from a heroin overdose, Bobbie survives two bloody shoot-outs. Finally, when Mel decides he must murder Bobbie so that Bobbie doesn’t “squeal” on him, Sid helps Bobbie escape. The final scene of the movie shows Bobbie running through a cornfield or wheat field, to the uplifting strains of Bob Dylan’s gospel song, “Every Grain of Sand,” that includes quotes from the Old and New Testaments.
Because of this last scene, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE ultimately appears to have a mild moral worldview. The audience can sympathize with Sid helping Bobbie escape from Mel’s evil clutches. The song at the end of the movie implies that Bobbie will repent from his life of crime and perhaps even find a normal family life for himself.
Despite this, however, Bobbie does commit crimes for which he should be punished, including stealing, selling drugs and taking part in schemes that end in bloody shoot-outs and one unintentional murder. The movie is also filled with excessive violence, foul language, nudity, drug abuse, and sexual immorality that make it unpleasant viewing, even for those who might like a good gangster movie every now and then.
Mildly moral worldview undercut by strong pagan elements, including a frank, excessive depiction of foul language, violence, sexual immorality, drug abuse, & criminal behavior including murder, plus some Christian elements, a semi-redemptive ending & some anti-Christian elements that mock people of faith; 327 obscenities, 30 profanities, plus several crude sexual remarks & visual jokes; excessive, bloody violence such as young petty thief stabs security guard after guard beats him senseless, bloody shoot-out during drug sale, bloody murders & shoot-out during home robbery, & images of woman's corpse after she overdoses on heroin; depicted sex; upper female nudity, rear male nudity, rear female nudity, & implied full male nudity that's nearly shown; strong alcohol use & abuse; smoking & drug abuse, including cocaine, heroin, meth, & people using needles; and, strong miscellaneous immorality which eventually is rebuked at the very end of the movie.