review for Dominick and Eugene on AllMovie

Dominick and Eugene (1988)
by Perry Seibert review

While Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise were earning great reviews playing a mentally handicapped man and his brother in Rain Man, Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta were doing equally superb work in similar roles in a small film titled Dominick and Eugene. Their performances make the movie special. Hulce does not play a condition; he plays a three-dimensional human being with recognizable goals, fears, and desires. Ray Liotta finds just the right balance of love tempered by the occasional blast of frustrated exasperation that keeps his character from becoming a martyr. The two of them create a realistic brotherly relationship while also convincingly expressing how that relationship affects every other aspect of their lives. While it is a disappointment that the film's third act depends largely on a melodramatic revelation, the actors never let the over-the-top emotions overwhelm them or their simply drawn, memorable characters. Very 1950s in its structure, Dominick and Eugene is simple and enjoyable moviemaking that allows a pair of talented actors to do what they do best -- act.