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1 item from 1995


7 November 1995 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

November 7, 1995


Columbia Pictures

After watching his "North" go south at the boxoffice, Rob Reiner has reverted to top form with Columbia Pictures' "The American President", a thoroughly entertaining tale of love at the White House.

Acerbic, warm and timely, the winning picture also boasts one of the year's best scripts and a slew of terrific performances. Michael Douglas, who stepped in when Robert Redford stepped out, makes for a highly effective President Andrew Shepherd, who, in his rare spare time is a widower trying to give his daughter a normal upbringing. But the film's most pleasant surprise is Annette Bening, who is nothing short of sensational here, demonstrating a rarely seen comedic side that expertly conveys the right mix of steely determination and unnerved vulnerability (HR 11/3-5).

Michael Rechtshaffen


Warner Bros.

Although popcorn fights might occur during the silliest moments of this very silly exercise in big-bang movie-making, there's just enough preposterous action and sleazy& A to make Joel Silver's latest production an overachiever, at least during the first weekend at the boxoffice. Curiosity over the film debut of model Cindy Crawford and Warner Bros. marketing savvy will line 'em up, but word-of-mouth will be deadly as debut director Andrew Sipes' "Fair Game" is ultimately fatuous bunk inspired to provide only the cheapest sort of thrills.

Based on Paula Gosling's novel, Charlie Fletcher's screenplay boasts some of the most inane dialogue and pitifully inadequate plotting to show up on the screen this year. There's not a single believable moment, but the intended humor is generally lame and the cartoonish characters are not captivating in the slightest.

Bloody, explosive showdowns occur regularly and the body count is hard to keep up with (HR 11/3-5).

David Hunter



Republic Pictures

Making festival rounds on its way to a January select-site release, TV actor Tim Reid's $2.5 million directorial debut is a dramatically unfocused but nobly intentioned adaptation of Clifton Taulbert's coming-of-age book set among poor blacks in post-World War II Mississippi.

A tough sell outside the core African-American audience, "Once Upon a Time" centers on young Cliff (Willie Norwood Jr.), whose single mother leaves him in the care of grandparents and others in the ramshackle "village" they call home.

Episodic and idealistic in its portrayal of the archetypal characters, Paul Cooper's screenplay concentrates on the strong community environment that nourishes Cliff, with just a few scenes showing the ugliness of the era's overt racism and segregation (HR 11/6).

David Hunter


CFP Distribution

A black comedy about a lonely young woman looking for love, and a big hit in her native Germany, Doris Dorrie's "Nobody Loves Me" will no doubt strike a chord with single women everywhere, if its relentless quirkiness isn't too off-putting.

The chief problem with the film is the relentless and ultimately wearying eccentricity of the characters, who prove to be entertaining but less than endearing (HR 11/6).

Frank Scheck

Other reviews

Also reviewed last week were the films "The Monster" (HR 11/1), "Red Ribbon Blues" (11/2), "Sweet Nothing" (11/3-5) and "Nobody Loves Me (11/6)."


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