New York Stories: Life Without Zoe


Cast: opening credits version: “Starring Tally and Giancarlo and introducing Heather. Co-starring Don, Jenny and Jimmy as Jimmy. Written by Francis and Sofia. Produced by Fred and Fred.”

Closing credits elaborate: Talia Shire, Giancarlo Giannini, Heather McComb, Don Novello, Jenny Nichols and James Keane.

Written by: Francis Coppola & Sofia Coppola

Directed by: Francis Coppola (credited minus the Ford)

Genre: Short film/”family”

Run time: I believe it’s 35 minutes for just the “Zoe” segment.

Released: March 10, 1989 (U.S.)

MPAA Rating: PG

Discussing Adrien’s performance in this one is all but impossible. He doesn’t speak and is only seen in the background of a poorly-lit room.

If you want to look for him: he is working in the school newspaper office as the main group of girls discuss scoring an interview with the new rich boy in school. If it weren’t for my Brody radar, he likely would have gone completely unnoticed. Which is a shame.

Given he is credited as having played “Mel,” that means he likely had lines that were cut, seeing as only speaking characters are typically given names. Again, a shame.

What isn’t a shame, however, is to work with Francis Ford Coppola when it’s only the third screen credit of your career (after Home at Last, Adrien did Mary Tyler Moore’s short-lived sitcom, Mary McGuire). That’s pretty impressive, if you ask me.

New York Stories is essentially a collection of three short films, all made by directors known for films about New York: Martin Scorsese, the aforementioned Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen.

In Closing

Life Without Zoe is largely regarded as the weakest of the three pieces. Unfortunately, I would have to say I agree. An appearance by the wonderful Giancarlo Giannini is the only saving grace I could find, to be honest, but he isn’t in it long enough to save it.

So, taking that into account, coupled with the fact that Adrien hardly makes an appearance, you may wish to just skip “Zoe.” I actually own New York Stories, but I assure you, only for the Woody Allen piece, Oedipus Wrecks. 


Movie Overall: 3/10
Brody Performance:
cannot be rated


Author: Patricia Henderson

Patricia Henderson is a 40-something from Northern California. She has loved both movies and writing since she was a child, so this was a logical choice.

2 thoughts on “New York Stories: Life Without Zoe”

  1. I rented this and watched it over and over trying to figure out where he was lol. I’m definitely glad I rented it and didn’t buy it. Maybe life was preparing him for Thin Red Line !)


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