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There is a gentleness to this movie, a lack of meanness, anger, angst
or aggression, that automatically alienates the majority of moviegoers
too obsessed with violence and noise to appreciate things like dialog,
tone and mood.
Mandy Patinkin, a national treasure better known for his work on Broadway than in film, appears as a rare book librarian whose wife, Jan, (Glenn Close) becomes possessed by Maxie Malone, 1920's firebrand whose untimely death ended her movie career before it began. Close is adorable in quite different ways as both Jan and Maxie, although in the end, you really wish Maxie could get more face time.
Alas, the living couple decide their spectral third wheel must go, and even though she does win a part that proves she would have been a star, she agrees to take a powder.
Patinkin and Close create characters about whom we care and in whose lives we can take an interest. Ruth Gordon, who passed away shortly after filming, is hilarious, endearing, and a bit sad, as Trudie, Maxie's flapper friend who survived her friend to become an eccentric old woman. In fact, there is a thread of melancholy that runs through the film, but in the end, it leaves you feeling uplifted and optimistic. That in itself makes this movie a treasure.
There is a side-splitting audition scene with Maxie and Harry Hamlin in a cameo playing himself. Barnard Hughes is Maxie's boss, a Bishop who feels an exorcism is in order to banish the freewheeling Maxie. There's even an uncredited appearance by Carole Lombard in the young Maxie's silent film clip.
I don't know what it is about this movie that is so beautiful. It's hard to describe. But it may be the complete lack of the ugliness that pollutes most movies these days. Every time I watch Maxie, I come away feeling refreshed and renewed. What more could you want from a movie?
Maxie is an absolutely delightful comedy based upon the 1973 novel by Jack Finney, `Marion's Wall'. Filmed primarily in San Francisco, this 1985 movie stars Glenn Close and Mandy Patinkin with the wonderful Ruth Gordon in a supporting role. Close plays a double role as Patinkin's wife, Jan, and as Maxie, a 20's vaudeville actress, who returns to this plane to occupy Jan's body. Glenn Close is really fabulous in these roles. This is a great movie based on the fact that it is a great story, with excellent acting. Maxie doesn't rely on massive special effects or inane contemporary music. It is classic comedy that leaves you feeling good when the film is over. This is 98 minutes of excellent entertainment that I would highly recommend.
This a lovely romantic film that was tossed away on first release and is well worth tracking and enjoying. I saw it on a double feature (and it screened first) with DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN and the audience were clearly annoyed when MAXIE started. They wanted the Madonna film. Within ten minutes it was clear we had been served a delicious appetiser. Within half and hour there was obvious surprise, and by the time 90 mins had passed we had all forgotten about Madonna. When intermission arrived, the crowd was buzzing with sheer delight at this wonderful timeless discovery and the audience went into SUSAN in such a good mood it played like funniest movie ever made. Add MAXIE to your list of 'must see' films. It the sort of small and rewarding film that causes a person at a party to scream with the thrill of meeting someone who has also seen it.
After purchasing my first VCR, this is one of the first films I rented.
Being in High School, at the time...I suppose it had an impression on me.
This movie is fantastic with Mandy, Glenn, and...of course the unforgettable Ruth Gordon.
Since the advent of DVD...I have been hoping for it's release. I relish the day.
Out of all the who know how many movies I've seen...this is one that touched me and counts as one of the greatest. I especially love "Bye, Bye, Blackbird". This was sung by Glenn, herself as "Maxie"
Maxie is one of my favorites. What is especially excellent is Glenn
ability to change between Jan and Maxie, by only a subtle change in
expression. She was remarkable. Ruth Gordon too, made the movie
. As her last picture, it was a fitting tribute to a great actress. The
entire movie couldn't be better. I am giving it a 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Maxie is a childhood favorite of mine that used to get a lot of airtime
on cable in the mid-80s, now largely forgotten. The basic premise is
Jan, the uptight and conservative secretary of a San Francisco bishop,
becomes possessed by the spirit of 20s jazz baby and starlet, Maxie
Malone (played by Glenn Close in a dual role). Mandy Patinkin plays her
hapless, yet gentle husband, Nick, and the whole movie deals with the
shenanigans of Maxie's return to the living world. Ruth Gordon has a
brief, yet touching role as Maxie's best friend Trudy. A pity there
wasn't more of her in this film.
Maxie died in a car crash on the way to a movie audition in 1927, which could've potentially made her a star. The conflict arises because of Nick's strong attraction to Maxie and his love for his wife. Close (as Maxie) and Patinkin have plenty of chemistry and there was a part of me that wished Maxie took over completely and kicked Jan to the curb.
At times both the characters of Jan and Maxie were slightly irritating. I cannot explain why I felt that way, but I did at certain moments. Close is not one of my favorite actresses, but she does a decent job here. One of the best scenes is the blazingly white hot "Bye Bye Blackbird" number. Throughout the movie my allegiance switched back and forth between Jan and Maxie, so it was a bit disconcerting.
The problem with this film that I noticed now that I've seen it as an adult is the payoff is never really there. There's certain characters like the Ruth Gordon one that could've been expanded on more, the bishop talking about performing an exorcism on Jan, but we never see it, and other characters that are just "there" for no real reason and don't advance the story along any.
The end with Jan and Nick escaping the hotel in silly disguises was unnecessary. Although I love movies about the 20s, this film wasn't as enjoyable as it was when I was a kid. It's not a terrible film, but it could've had a lot more comedic potential. It's not a bad movie to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I loved every minute of it; finally found a rare movie without gore, blood, violence, foul language, obscenities, brutality, car chases, guns, fighting - just pure, clean fun! Why isn't it shown lately??? we do get whole load of repeats of movies that contain all the above vile, yet this is never shown - got it as pure chance long time ago on a video. All main line channels show repeats after repeats specially at Christmas, but never this. WHY? SO BRING THIS OUT!! and please do not make a new version of it - every time anyone does a "new" version it is inferior to the old one, just leave it alone and show it please. Glenn Close is such fun, she seems to revel in this role - what shame she did not do more like it! TV channels please take notice!
Nick played by Mandy Patinkin(Criminal Minds & Dead Like Me) and Jan,
Glen Close (Dangerous Liasons and Reversal of Fortune) move into a new
apartment in San Fransisco. When weird things start happening and Jan
starts behaving oddly, the landlady Mrs Lavin, Ruth Gordon (Every which
way but loose) tells them about Maxie, a 1920's potential starlet, who
died before an audition that would make her a real star..
As it turns out Maxie has found a way to take over Jan. Close plays both parts wonderfully, switching seamlessly between the flighty, flirty, flapper and the conservative Jan.
My favourite scene has to be the Bye bye blackbird solo. Close is fabulous.... Ruth Gordon is exquisitely scatty, yet poignant in places. Patinkin is sadly mediocre, but good to see he went on to more suitable roles..
Maxie is using Jan's body to try to see if she'd have made the big time had she lived long enough..... Will she succeed?? You have to watch and see for yourself.....
I've always had an unusual name- Maxie. I asked my parents where it was from. A movie, they said, that come out in 1985, the majority of the year that my mother spent pregnant with me. A few years ago, the movie Maxie was on a premium station and I was actually able to sit down and watch it. While the premise is unfathomable, Maxie is a light comedy about the rekindling of old flames and the possibility of reaching your dreams. Glenn Close's acting was one of her best. She was amazing in her portrayal of a guarded housewife to a fun, life loving 1920's actress named Maxie. The shift and broad spectrum to which Close portrays the characters enables me to see why she was praised as highly as she has been. I would recommend it to anyone who has some extra time and doesn't mind seeing a somewhat cheesy 80's romantic comedy. The 80's were an amazing decade, after all.
I really don't understand reviews under five on this one. I've seen some pitiful movies, including two featuring Brad Pitt very early in his career. Even his gorgeous face couldn't remove the cringe-factor from Johnny Suede and The Dark Side of the Sun. (I have to give Mr. Pitt a 10 in the humility category for not using his money/influence to have them scourged from the face of the earth). I know this is not a Brad Pitt movie but I can pretty well guarantee that if you see those two movies you will in no way consider this movie below 5. It's not even really fair to make that comparison because Maxie is a good movie. Maxie is a favorite of mine, as well as many of my girlfriends, and my 20+ daughter and her crowd adore it. The twenty-somethings love 80's movies and from the first moment I brought out a taped copy of Maxie for my daughter and a group of her overnight friends they were hooked. I'm a professional with an affection for gangster/mob movies, and do not care for the average Lifetime flick, so no Pollyanna here, and still I consider Maxie fun, charming, entertaining and completely delightful. My husband didn't dis the movie like he has done many romcoms, and although not a big Glenn Close fan, he liked her in this. It was, as someone else described, refreshing. I lost my copy and while online to look for it decided to see how reviewers treated it here. Disappointing. I have moved and have a new group of friends who have not seen it. It's a feel good movie that we would do well to have more of these days. I recommend for a girls'-night-out, a mom/daughter evening or even date night. Like my husband, your significant other might be pleasantly surprised.
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