|It's a comedy - a very strange one, the
kind usually called "offbeat" by the writers,
and it involves guys stealing their own cars back,
various unusual sex/love combinations, and dead animals
in the trunk which are later used to fill out a guy's bed
in order to fool his mom into thinking he's there. The
characters, right down to the cameos, are all unusual and
quirky, yet remarkable human and familiar when reined in
by the massive talent of director Curtis Hanson (L.A.
Confidential), and such acting luminaries as Frances
McDormand, Downey Junior, and Michael Douglas. Douglas
gets away from his stock arrogant businessmen and cocky
detectives to play the lead, a stumbling English
professor with no direction in his life or his work.
DVD info from Amazon.
2.35:1, well-filmed, good transfer
the extras are
disappointing for such a highly-regarded
film: there are a few cast and crew
interviews, a spotlight on the music, and
a spotlight on the Pittsburgh locations.
film is about the progress he makes toward getting back
to what once made him a Wonder Boy.
It is very much
like a quirky independent film, except that it was made
by top talents with a $35 million budget. Unfortunately,
it never really found an audience, lost money. These
factors will not make the studios likely to pour so much
money into such a personal film in the future.
Holmes is also one of the leads, mercifully freed from
the obligation to do that "Blanche DuBois with an
attitude" that she had to do in The Gift. You'll be
surprised by what a top-notch job she does here when
given a character more suited to her, the film's most
anchored role of a thoughtful, intelligent and very real
student with whom Douglas has a brief relationship
General consensus: 3.5
stars. Ebert 4/4, Berardinelli 3/4,
summary. 85% positive overall,
but a much more impressive 89% from the
- With their
votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters
score it 7.7, Apollo users 75/100. These
scores are consistent with the critical
- With their
dollars ... a noble failure. A $35 milion
budget, but only $19 million in domestic
revenues. This is the same type of movie,
with the same type of box office
performance, that Altman and Woody Allen
make. But they hold the costs down and
make them profitable.
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 B-. A
pleasantly quirky movie with a quiet personal
feel to it. Enough to reach out past the pure
arthouse/indie crowd, but it obviously failed to
reach a large mainstream audience.