Harvey and Gillian Fairchild face a very difficult weekend. Harvey, celebrating his 60th birthday, is stressed and depressed. Gillian is awaiting the results of a throat biopsy. Their lives... See full summary »
George and Gwen Kellerman live in the small, quiet town of Twin Oaks, Ohio with their two young children and pet dog. George has a strong sense of what is right and wrong, especially as it ... See full summary »
2 quirky Manhattanites crash into each other cute at an ophthalmologist's office. Peter is a grouchy cartoonist/author whose vision is failing, divorced mother Theresa is also reluctant to ... See full summary »
To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.
According to actor Zeljko Ivanek, the fish sermon scene was shot 15 times from three different angles. Although Ivanek considers the last take the best, most of it didn't make the final cut because it was too emotionally jarring for the audience. See more »
Father Tim Farley:
You're a lunatic! And Christ NEEDS lunatics. But the trouble with lunatics is, they don't know how to survive.
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Pretty good, but it should have better used its "pulpit"...
"Mass Appeal" is enjoyable on several levels. It works as an examination of the depth of contemporary religious beliefs and their current role in our society, as an indictment of an inflexible system (the Catholic church), and as a comment on the travails of two very different men (ostensibly of the same "cloth") seeking spiritual happiness. Unfortunately, as a "mass appeal" film, not all of the issues are satisfactorily handled, but the film is entertaining nonetheless. Greg Cundiff's excellent review neatly summarizes some key plot issues and holes. For example, I found Ivanek's/Dolson's devotion and desire compelling, but what on earth would make him think that a parish of strangers would listen to his excoriations and then embrace him as their pastor? I agree with Cundiff that the lack of clarity surrounding this fundamental plot point does not help the film. I was also disappointed that Durning's character was unambiguously drawn as the heavy. A more balanced approach may have helped here. Farley's attempt at leading a discussion of the role of women priests is unusually framed, but ultimately leaves the viewer desiring a more compelling resolution to the issue.
Strongly on the plus side, Lemmon is an excellent choice for the lead (whi ch allows him to display his comic and dramatic talents equally). Farley's story is as compelling as Dolson's, and Lemmon squeezes every drop of drama from the script. His final "mass appeal" is quite affecting. Ivanek is intense as Dolson, but Charles Durning's role could be played by anyone. The film is nicely "shot" and has an exhilarating soundtrack at points.
A "7" out of "10."
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