Inventing the Abbots
(1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|Peyton Place, continued and updated.
Actually, only the cast is updated. the
story takes place in the 50's, and the filmmaking techniques are in
the period style as well, done so well that it appears to
be recently rediscovered 50's movie. I think that is
praise. I think that is the effect they intended. The art
and set direction were flawless, as far as my eyes could
detect. Even the smallest details - the appliances, the
breadboxes, the bottles, the storefronts, the ads, all
transported me back to my childhood.
here: In a small town, two poor brothers, one shy
(Joaquin Phoenix) and one slick (Billy Crudup), pursue
three rich beautiful sisters (Joanna Going, Jennifer
Connelly, Liv Tyler). The slick brother just wants to use
'em all as revenge for real or imagined slights made by
their father at the expense of his parents. The shy
brother just wants to fall in love.
Connelly's left breast is seen in a sex scene
with Billy Crudup. Her breasts are also exposed in a very dark
and brief sex scene in a car.
say, the slick brother gets his revenge, only to find out
he was wrong about the affair between the rich man and
his mother, and he was wrong about the rich man swindling
his father out of some patents. In the process of gaining
his ill-conceived revenge, he ends up screwing and
insulting the sister that his brother is in love with.
The girls' dad does all the
standard "you in a heap o' trouble" stuff,
except without the mirrored sunglasses.
It's just a trite soap
opera melodrama which may someday become an object of
great historical curiosity, like Coppola's The Outsiders,
since everyone in this movie
headed for stardom, but was virtually unknown at the time. Crudup
made a smash in Almost Famous; Phoenix broke through in
Gladiator; Connelly won an Oscar, Tyler starred in Lord of
- The frigging film
is narrated - by Michael Keaton, surprisingly
enough, who never appears on camera, as the voice
of the Phoenix character looking back from today.
Keaton does a very good job with the narration, although I'll be
damned if I know why they thought it was necessary
- Ol' Billy Crudup has a
tough life, doesn't he? Not once, but twice did he get to do
naked sex scenes with Jennifer
Connelly. Here, and in Waking the Dead.
- With their
votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters
score it 6.0, Apollo users 78/100. The
IMDb score is completely consistent with
the critical consensus.
- With their
dollars ... $5.9 million on 900 screens
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, this film is a C.
Sensitive coming-of-age melodrama will appeal to
the usual suspects. Not enough humor or depth to
reach out beyond the soap opera market.
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