Things Change (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Things Change1988

Things Change (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Things Change Photos

Movie Info

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.

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Robert Prosky
as Joseph 'Don Giuseppe' Vincent
Ricky Jay
as Mr. Silver
Mike Nussbaum
as Mr. Greene
Jack Wallace
as Repair Shop Owner
Dan Conway
as Butler
Willo Hausman
as Miss Bates
Gail Silver
as Housemaid
Len Hodera
as Ramone
Josh Conescu
as Bellenza
Jack Merrill
as No Pals
William H. Macy
as Billy Drake
J.T. Walsh
as Hotel Manager
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Critic Reviews for Things Change

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (2)

Things Change is a neat little exercise in wit and deception.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Things Change is like the careful telling of a sly and spirited joke. Everything builds slowly, and the telling is as important as the punch line.

December 11, 2017 | Full Review…

clever, funny and thoughtful

April 5, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

A gangster fable about keeping one's word.

July 10, 2003 | Full Review…

David Mamet-Shel Silverstein collaboration is funny, touching and tense.

November 7, 2002 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

It's a film that comes with a perfect shoeshine and smile underneath its ludicrous and cynical premise.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Things Change


Nine years after Hal Ashby's quixotic 1979 tale of mistaken identity, Being There (with Peter Sellers as the humble gardener), Mamet followed with his take on the same subject, throwing in the Mob and its code of honor (!!!) for comic spin. Joe Mantagna is the family flunky chosen with cred enough to babysit a shoeshine boy and he's credible if underwritten. Ameche, though, is the whole film, carrying the whole piece. I thought he understood it better than Mamet pretended to ...

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

From the moment you watch Don Ameche's face, you instantly know this will be a humble, honest and heartwarming story. David Mamet changed his register here, in his second film. A sweet comedy with crystalline acting, writing and direction.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

It's got that Mamet touch!

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

Things Change Quotes

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