Nothing Lasts Forever Reviews
The film never received theatrical release or home video release, so I caught it on Turner Classic Movies, who premiered it on January 4th, 2015.
"Forever" is nearly a work of singular genius, except the conclusion fails to deliver on the promise of the first half. Zach Galligan ("Gremlins") is Adam Beckett, a young idealist who returns to New York from Europe with naive plans of being an artist. He has no demonstrated talent and hasn't even chosen a medium. But in this alternate New York, the Port Authority runs the city and is fiercely strict about which would-be artists are accepted into the population (apparently, Toulouse-Lautrec is also caught in the bureaucracy). The chief hurdle is an aptitude test, where Adam has to sketch a flirty nude within three minutes. The resulting product is one of the film's best laughs. His weak performance results in him being relegated to an Orwellian traffic-control post, with Aykroyd briefly portraying his grizzled supervisor. Eventually, Adam finds favor with a secret underground organization and earns an unlikely trip to the moon. Via bus. Romance and creative inspiration await him.
There a few old-fashioned, orchestrated songs that are quite well-written -- the title tune adds an amazing dubbed vocal -- and Eddie Fisher even turns up to sing "Oh, My Papa." Imogene Coca, Mort Sahl and Calvert "Larry 'Bud' Melman" DeForest are also in the cast.
Galligan is a young man whose been abroad for years, and returned home only to find that the New York Port Authority has siezed control of the city, due to traffic problems. Galligan is a naive but kindly upstart who knows only that he wants to be an aritst. After failing the mandatory "art test" used to determine, who is an artist and who isn't, he is forced to work at the Holland Tunnel with Akroyd, but not for too long, as he meets a fellow artist, falls in love and is taken through a short montage of the new york art world.
The setting is essentially timeless, at one point, it suggests the thirties, at another they mention the 50's as part of the past, and at one brief moment, theres a strong hint of 80's, but the film is shot in black and white mostly, and made to resemble a science fiction from an earlyish period from the last century, 30's, 40's???
The plot takes a few turns from here which are suprising and fantastical and not to give away too much, but unfortunately since this movie has NEVER been released on home video or dvd(and doesnt seem likely too), I'll give a way a little more of what's to come...New York as you know it may be an illusion, the homeless are the secret masters of the city and possibly more, and the elderly have been taking routine bus trips to the moon since the 50's, they have chips in their heads which make them say "Miami" everytime they even think the word "Moon", so they can't tell anyone. All of these plot elements are told with a matter of factness and a touching sweetness, at no point does this film become cynical, mean, perverse, or pretentious (not something most films as rare and surreal as this can claim).
Others have rightly compared it to both Terry Gilliam and Woodey Allen at their most fanciful, but there's a sweetness to this, which gives it a charm all of its own. It's completely unique, very clever, and unusually heartwarming. See it by any means necessary, and as the secret society of bums commands,"Fear not, love all".
Also there is Dan Ayckroyd before he became an indiscriminate script-approver.