Along for the Ride (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

This movie, also known as Forever Lulu,  is not good, not good at all. It intends to manipulate your emotions in scene after scene of weepy-ass contrivance.

Melanie Griffith plays an escaped mental patient who tracks down her first and true love (Patrick Swayze) so that he can drag him to Wisconsin to see the child that she has never seen and he doesn't even know about.  


The Melanie Griffith character does a full frontal nude scene in a long shot, but it seems to be a body double because Melanie is revealed to be wearing a suit in the pool after the dive!
 It was intended to be an 11-hankie job:
  • Mel and Swayze have a special psychic connection after all these years. Before her escape, we see them watching "The Hustler" together from separate locations, both of them mouthing the dialogue.

  • Swayze and his wife had their own child, who died, and they talk about it constantly, although the script tells us that neither of them can bear to talk about it

  • They end up having a tearful meeting with their son, accompanied by Swayze's wife, and they all become just a little wiser, darn it.

  • When they return to the town where they used to live (Madison, Wisconsin), "The Hustler" is playing (still? again?) at the same theater where it was playing when they saw it together so long ago.

  • Swayze ends up giving up his empty existence as a TV writer and returns to his original intention of writing the Great American Novel.

  • Be prepared for a heart-warming and heartstring-tugging resolution to every possible plot thread.

Unfortunately, my heart was only warmed to about 106 degrees. I actually had to watch a few episodes of The Waltons and Lassie after this movie to warm my heart back up to the desired temperature.

The writer/director has been a writer on the Hollywood scene for about thirty years, but I should warn you that he'd never directed before, and this is the first script he's had produced in 20 years. And the last one was Where the Buffalo Roam

Tuna's comments in yellow:

To her credit, Melanie did a good job with her own character in this poorly written film. She has fooled me over the years. I once thought that she would be a Carol Wayne or Jennifer Tilly type, and would spend her entire career in bimbo roles because of her Minnie Mouse voice, but she has actually used that voice effectively in a wide range of roles, to show that those first impressions can be deceptive. Bravo for her.

Can't say much for her script judgment, however. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no features

  • no widescreen

Along for the Ride. (2000), which IMDB calls Forever Lulu, stars Melanie Griffith, who does a great job with a strange character and a terrible plot. 

Melanie has spent the last 16 years in and out of mental hospitals. She escapes, and contacts former boyfriend Patrick Swayze, informing him that they have a 16 year old son. Griffith talks him into driving cross country to meet the boy. Swayze's wife, Penelope Ann Miller, a shrink, flies to Wisconsin to get even, or protect her marriage, it is not clear which. 

Never could tell what the genre was. We see a body double full frontal from a distance, a stunt double in bra and panties, and cleavage from Griffith. 

The Critics Vote

  • 1/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.8 
  • With their dollars ... no theatrical release. It was made for Starz.
IMDb 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 is.

My own 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 D (Scoopy), to D- (Tuna). Skip it, even if you like Melanie.

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