August 16, 1993 12:00 PM

Joseph Lindsey, Patrick McGaw, Mira Sorvino, Steve Parlavecehio

Two aging Jewish gangsters, now semilegitimate businessmen and big shots in suburban bong Island, are shaking their heads in bewildered disgust at the disrespect shown them by the young bloods coming up through the ranks. “Who are these kids?” the top geezer wonders. “They’re us, all over again,” his sidekick tells him.

“These kids” are the disaffected, aimless, morally bereft group of twentysomethings who populate this taut little stinger of a movie, which marks the highly promising debut of director-screenwriter Rob Weiss. Amongst Friends is about a trio of criminally inclined pals, children of privilege who earn pocket money with small-time hustles while always looking for the big score that will get them out of their parents’ houses and into apartments of their own. When one of the buddies goes after another’s girl and one of their heists goes awry, old loyalties begin to fray with tragic consequences.

If all this sounds like Mean Streets in suburbia, that’s indeed how it plays and, just like Martin Scorsese’s 1973 breakthrough film, Friends has style and energy to spare, a thick coating of romantic doom and a talented cast of newcomers. (R)

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