Directed by Allan Mindel, starring Troy Garity, Alison Folland, Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern, Hank Harris and Debra Monk.
Allan Mindel's directorial debut is set in wintry Milwaukee, home to Albert Burroughs (Garity), a young man with an Autism-like mental disability who lives with his adoring mother Edna (Monk). Like Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man, Albert has an extraordinary gift; he understands when the fish speak. His first love is competing in fishing tournaments, which he always wins because of his unique ability in locating where the fish are to be found. Albert's success at these tournaments also means he's very wealthy.
His mother knows that there are those who would take advantage of him if they got the chance, so when Tuey (Folland) and her brother Stan (Harris) take an interest in Albert, Edna is none too happy. Albert's boss, Mr McNally (Dern), thinks the young man should be given more freedom, but Edna refuses to allow this, both out of worry for her son, and fear of no longer being needed.
But tragedy strikes when Edna is killed in a car accident. Left alone, Albert must now make his own choices and decides to befriend Tuey and Stan. At the same time, Jerry James (Quaid) arrives in town, claiming to be Albert's long-lost father. It becomes clear that he, and Tuey and Stan, have plans to get their hands on Albert's cash.
Albert however, is not as naïve as he appears. Initially, he follows his mother's advice as to how he should live. In voiceovers throughout, he talks about things he can't do, always preceded by "Mama says"; "Mama says I can't call that nice girl," for example, but we begin to see that Albert doesn't want to be limited by the word 'can't'. 'Milwaukee, Minnesota' is ultimately about Albert's declaration of independence.
While Garity's portrayal of Albert is excellent, Folland's as Tuey is brash and over-the-top and Harris' hypochondriac Stan really doesn't need to be there. Randy Quaid's first appearance as Jerry is interesting, but his presence becomes hackneyed as the movie progresses.
Richard Murphy's script is top-notch as far as exploring Albert's character goes, but it takes some bizarre detours along the way, such as having a transvestite reassure Stan about his health. If it's supposed to be funny, it fails miserably.
'Milwaukee, Minnesota' is watchable, but only when Garity is on screen, which is not enough.