Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Perhaps it was his collaborator Shel Silverstein who said to screenwriter David Mamet "Lighten up. Do a comedy." Whatever the case, Things Change was a welcome change of pace for Mamet, both as scenarist and director. Don Ameche also goes against his usual grain by playing a downtrodden Chicago shoeshine boy (if one can call an 80-year-old a "boy") who is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. Not having much of a future anyway, Ameche has agreed--for a hefty sum--to take the rap for a gangland rubout. Mob henchman Joe Mantegna is assigned to keep an eye on Ameche over the weekend to make sure he doesn't try to weasel out of his agreement. Mantegna has been ordered to remain in Ameche's Lake Tahoe hotel, but the young guy takes a liking to the old loser. Like Jack Nicholson in The Last Detail, Mantegna takes Ameche on one last fling around Nevada. The location photography is terrific, and Ameche even more so. One would like Things Change to be equally as good, and while it never comes up to its potential, it remains a pleasant means to while away 100 minutes.
shoeshiner, gangster, Italian-American, mistaken-identity, mob-boss, scapegoat, trip