"Chicago Cab'' has received reviews complaining that every single one of the taxi driver's passengers is a colorful character with a story.
True, the movie seems to be mixing the paint a bit thick - but would the film improve with the substitution of boring passengers who just want to go to the Wrigley Building, and leave a nice tip? Drama is always made of the emotional high points.
The film, based on Will Kern's play "Hellcab,'' stars Paul Dillon of TV's "Pretender'' as a taxi driver whose job makes him confessor to some, target of others, witness to the misery of the city. I was reminded of the Fritz Leiber story about the man who could read minds, and went crazy because of all the unhappiness he picked up. The driver works from early in the morning until late at night, North Side, Loop, South Side, O'Hare, his direction and ultimately his destiny determined by who happens to get into his cab.
There are more than 30 different fares (played by actors such as John Cusack, Laurie Metcalf, Gillian Anderson and Michael Ironside). The first passengers of the day are churchgoers, who prompt their sullen young daughter to assist in saving the driver for Jesus. The last passenger is a quiet black man who listens to the driver's sad story of the rape victim he has just taken home.