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Sonny (2003)

James Franco , Mena Suvari  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Franco, Mena Suvari, Brenda Blethyn, Harry Dean Stanton, Seymour Cassel
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009K011
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,587 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sonny" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Nicolas Cage once acted in a notably sexy and atmospheric New Orleans movie called Zandalee, so nostalgia may have recommended Sonny as a directorial debut project. The handsome young title character (James Franco) returns to his bordello-district home after Army service, wanting only to lead a normal life, work in a bookstore, meet a nice girl, and settle down. Sonny spent his pre-Army years expertly pleasuring well-to-do ladies, having been taught "everything he knows"--as we are oft reminded--by his own mother (Brenda Blethyn in sub-Tennessee Williams rampage). After discovering that "normal" people can be as fallible as lowlifes, our boy reluctantly resumes his former trade, with dispiriting results. Not half as dispiriting, though, as Cage's maiden directing effort. Marginal compensation is supplied by Harry Dean Stanton, sweetly weary as an old family friend, and the copiously zaftig Brenda Vaccaro (cf. Midnight Cowboy) as a once and future client. Cage himself turns up as a poodle-toting pimp named Acid Yellow. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage made his directorial debut with the 2002 theatrical release, Sonny. Meet Sonny and his mother Jewel. Sonny has returned from the Army to his mother's loving arms, to the sultry, sordid streets of New Orleans, to his mother's whorehouse. He's one of Jewel's most sought-after "employees," but he's thinking about a career change. Sonny is back to start his life anew. Maybe with Carol, one of Jewel's girls, and one of the few who dream of a life outside "the life." Or maybe in Texas, where the promise of a real job seems almost too good to be true. Until now, he's survived in a business where women pay to sleep with him. But how much will it cost to set him free?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something Different October 11, 2003
James Franco plays a very attractive former military man who returns home to his less than stellar family. I loved this movie. It was original and something different. James Franco deserves some indy awards buzz for his portrayal of Sonny. Nicholas Cage did a great job with his directorial debut. There is not much I didn't like about this film. It was something different and I appreciated that. Nick Cage also shines in his brief cameo in the film.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Franco shines August 9, 2006
By Candy
You really do not want to miss James Franco's soulful and raw portrayal of Sonny. This movie would be easily forgotten by most people after watching it, if it weren't his performance that fleshes out this character and burns him into your mind. A very passionate, gritty, and sad movie. Worth watching.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Sonny (James Franco) is a young male hustler who grew up very fast in New Orleans'
fabled and infamous FRENCH QUARTER. When the movie begins, he has just come back home
after a few years, from serving in the Army. He is full of promise and hope, as he intends to
change his life now and get a legitimate job in Texas or somewhere other than NOLA, where he
is well known as a young & highly skilled pleaser of older wealthier New Orleans society ladies.
His mother, Jewel, is an ex-prostitute who is waaay past her prime, and she knows it.
But her real skills lie in the arts of manipulation and emotional blackmail.
She is said to have "schooled" her young Sonny in the arts of carnal pleasures from the age of twelve.
This info in itself is left open, so your mind is left to draw the weird, creepy, taboo conclusion that
perhaps his mom kicked it with him (in bed) a few times, to get him ready for life as NOLA's premiere gigolo!
(Eeee-yol!!)---though you never actually see anything inappropriate between them, it is implied in a way!
She again, is a master manipulator, who'll use anything or anyone in her path to keep herself afloat financially.

Once her Sonny comes back home, he finds that she has replace him with a young female prostitute named Carol,
who is blonde, beautiful, and as skilled in her craft as Sonny is.
She also shares Sonny's ambition to rid himself of his past life, and to seek redemption,
as it were, through living a legitimate and respectable life.
Well, without giving too much more away...
Long story short, Sonny Boy's mother is not too pleased at all with his plans to
just visit NOLA, then leave!--There's still money to be made in her boy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Allegory February 10, 2006
"Carol," with her 20s flapper bob done up in platinum blonde, is a weary young prostitute who is tiring of never being able to have children. I can see why Mena Suvari jumped through hoops to play this part: she gets to walk through the rain, kiss James Franco while supine on a pile of hay in the barn, and also sink hysterically onto her knees in a giant mud puddle in the middle of a storm while sobbing her eyes out and suffering the indignity of having her mascara run. Even on SIX FEET UNDER Mena Suvari rarely got to stretch her acting muscles like this. She begs Sonny to love her and let her bear his children, just to run off somewhere where they wouldn't have to be male and female prostitutes and they could just be normal people.

Well, as many have speculated, this is probably an allegory for the relationship between Cage himself and his kooky wife, Patricia Arquette, both of whom were typecast by the old Hollywood casting system. Arquette finally broke free, divorcing Cage and finding her own network success with "The MEDIUM," in which she plays a wife, mother and psychic all rolled up into one, although she does not sport the fashion flair of Mena Suvari playing her former self in SONNY. In the scene where Carol tells Sonny that she's leaving him for a man (TROY) who will marry her, he's standing there shaving with a big blue towel knotted incredibly low on his waist. I kept thinking, one of two things would happen--a frazzled Sonny was going to take the razor away from his soapy face and slash poor Carol with it; or b, somehow the towel would fall away, or maybe that was just wishful thinking. How tall is Mena Suvari anyhow?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best indie February 19, 2006
Despite absolutely being obsessed with James Franco, this movie was really great. The direction by cage is great and i ab. loved the ending. The only thing i found irritating was Sonny's mothers accent and overzealousness. Worthwhile film! loved it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonny April 25, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Another dark film I enjoyed. I'd describe it as a dramady It's just about your average male prostitute and his desire to get out of the game and having to succumb to the indiscretions of his youth. It's not for the prudent. there is a lot of nudity and sexual situations. If you're easily offended this is not for you. Kudos to Nick Cage for directing such a enthralling film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Through the Looking Glass March 15, 2004
By m.h.
Don't ask me what's up with that title, it just seemed to fit. Okay, this movie "Sonny". While it's not a complete masterpiece. It trully sets mood and holds interest. The characters are full of sins and other quirks that draw you in. Acting is exceptional and real. With all the cookie cutter type films out there, this film is trully cool. While the subject is a little racy, it is done tastefully. I believe this is Nicholas' debut directorial film. He's no Kubrick but his choice of shots are intriguing and give a good flow to the scenes. The final note I have to make is on the films music. This movie should have a soundtrack. The music is exceptional and fits perfectly with its feel. If anything this film will take you somewhere different. It's up to you if you like it or not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars QUICK SERVICE
Always get my DVDs quick. Will continue to use this provider. Will suggest to my friends to use this provider.
Published 8 months ago by TROY GLINES
1.0 out of 5 stars SONNY is unbearable
SONNY is very hard movie to get through. Its a film about unattractive people, living unattractive lives, doing unattractive things.
Published 11 months ago by uni aum Entertainment
5.0 out of 5 stars What a movie. The end left you dangling
What a movie. The end of the movie left you dangling (would he leave the profession?? Nice collection of actors!
Published 16 months ago by Glen J. Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonny
I am in love with James Franco. I think he's one of the best actors in his generation. This movie is awesome... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Matti Kniva Spencer
3.0 out of 5 stars mostly sunny
The acting for the most part is superb in this movie. I've never seen James Franco do better. Mena Suvari handled her part quite well, and Harry Dean Stanton comes across as the... Read more
Published on April 28, 2010 by astrorev
5.0 out of 5 stars James Franco doesn't disappoint
This movie was very moving, and absolutely fantastic. James Franco does an amazing job, and is definitely one of the most underrated actors around today. Read more
Published on May 3, 2009 by S. Noggle
3.0 out of 5 stars Sonny was trained to do this by his mother? Come again?
When Sonny (James Franco) returns from his stint in the Army, he has high hopes of a new life. Hoping to move away from his old life in New Orleans, and pinning his chance at... Read more
Published on April 28, 2009 by Jason
4.0 out of 5 stars Sonny
Excellent film. James Franco is truly a great actor...just wished he'd get more recognition for his body of work. Read more
Published on February 18, 2008 by Michael D. Mahsetky
5.0 out of 5 stars Great house!
I love the campiness and the awesome house in which it was filmed!
Published on March 16, 2006 by Randy Nola
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