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The Accidental Tourist
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The Accidental Tourist More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Too subtle for the average viewer...

Author: bill-461 from LA, CA
7 October 2002

But if you're smart and sensitive like I am you will love this film. Might be William Hurt's most simple, but complete acting job ever. Geena Davis (and maybe Hurt also,) are just a tiny bit too attractive in this film, but they are both such good actors that they pull you into their pain, hope and need for human contact and win in the end. Bill Pullman plays a deeper and richer character than any I've personally ever seen him play since. Macon's family is real (I don't care what Joe Average Typical American Family says,) and endearing. Edward is the best movie dog ever.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: adrianoelvas from Brazil
6 August 2008

Truly majestic! William Hurt is simple, clean and emotionally straight! True smiles; true looks; true feelings.

Great acting, great story! 10 for everyone in this masterpiece.

The dog is well fit, the emotions are synchronized during the whole movie.

Also a surprising end. All actors received "lines" from the sky.

The director is very competent and clever. He was able to put all the pieces together and each one in the right place. This movie is indicated for all those whom have a refined taste for good acting and beautiful storyboard.

Its a pity but movies like this one are not made anymore. Unfortunately.

I hope in a close future we receive more gifts alike this one. I just downloaded and went through it all, even after a full and tiring day of work and almost falling asleep; when i pressed Play i couldn't stop going through it all!


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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

one of the best movies i have ever seen

Author: leonjoel from HongKong, China
11 December 2004

the Accidental Tourist is among the best movies ever made in the world.Maybe it is not absolutely the best, but as to me it is the most well understood one. that probably is the reason why i love it so much. When i watched it, i can even felt what Macon Leary was feeling inside---i could feel the complicated mood when he called Sarah in his hotel in Paris, i can understand that his heart has already belonged to Muriel when he said it's OK to Sarah, who asked for his opinion on the newly bought sofa. he was a captious guy!and i can also read his heart when he close the door to Muriel, not willing to take her on his trip the next morning. Also i can read the deep love for Muriel on his smiling face when he met Muriel at the gate of the hotel at the end of the movie. I can't agree with some people who think this movie lacks energy. it might appear to lack, but u could have felt the passion in their hearts if u can understand them. this remind me of another movie--Once Upon A Time In America, which is also said to lack energy, but i can feel the great passion in Noodles and Deborah's heart when they "quietly" meet in the bar after Noodle was released from the jail. only a few words from Deborah can make me feel that! Just as sometimes the clothes do not make the man, sometimes the movie is not what it appears! there is seldom any good movies from which we can not feel the passion!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The pain underneath the comedy.

Author: The_Film_Cricket from Birmingham, Alabama
3 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Macon has a profession that more or less mirrors his own personality. He writes travel books for people who hate to travel. Macon lives in a shell of emotional sterility following the death of his son and soon after, his marriage.

One of his travel guide trips turns up Muriel Prichett (Geena Davis), an oddball, petshop owner who can see right through Macon's hard shell. But Muriel has complications too especially with the idea that her son needs a father. This movie will be a hard-fought journey.

Macon breaks his leg and moves in with his brothers and sister. We can see right away where Macon developed some of his dullness. Porter and Rose are obsessive-compulsives who never leave the house, don't answer the phone and alphabetize the groceries on the shelf.

A problem arises when Macon's wife asks him to give it another go. So he must make a choice, a free and happy life with Muriel or the comfortable armchair he once had in his marriage.

'The Accidental Tourist' is first a movie about characters. Everyone here is drawn with loving care even if they tend to be frustrating (as are people in real life). Even as emotionally distant as Macon is, we know that there is a person in there, he just needs a way to pull it out. This is also a movie for grown-ups that may seem too leisurely paced for thrill seekers. You know who you are.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It slips through such serious emotional turf so quietly...

Author: secondtake from United States
1 September 2010

Accidental Tourist (1988)

So, for starters, Geena Davis won a best supporting actress for this role. She is a surprising presence, but she is only a shadow, to me, of William Hurt's deceptively taut and perceptive role. Weakest of the three main actors is Kathleen Turner, who is brought far down from the energy she had, say, in "Peggy Sue Got Married" just two years earlier. This might be because Davis is lifted so high.

The story is by Anne Tyler, who won awards and praise for her novel, as literature, before the movie. The hook implied by the title is just the starting point. Even though "Accidental Tourist" deals with totally, very, beautifully serious things, there is a kind of gleam to it all, a knowing despondency, as if the writer knew what tricks to use to make us feel deep things. And it's sort of okay, even at the end, which is improbable the way it is played out, but is emotionally really satisfying.

I liked the movie a lot, for sure. It's about feelings and real people, without crime and violence, and I like all that. But maybe the Oscar might have gone to William Hurt, who pulls off a subtle role with absolutism. He nails the detached, patient, observant, fearful person that his character is. Geena Davis with all her idiosyncratic energy, and later with her more mainstream domesticity (the two are never resolved), is a perfect spark for his smolder.

And it pulls together, most of the time, but there are oddities that are meant to be quaint and fun that throw it off course. The agent is awkward, the Leary family is like a comic idea that just makes the depth of the principles odd for their seriousness. And the sudden attempt at reconciliation seems improbable, at least with the knee-jerk way it comes off. The music is oddly repetitive and annoying if you notice it, too.

One element, of course, that infects how you look at all this, is the role of the two children, the two sons. They make everything the adults do significant, even if still sometimes questionable. But hey, it's actually a soap opera, which I love, with emotions flying this way and that, and echoes of our own lives everywhere. So dive in and give it all a go. Even it feels slow at times, give it a moment. Hurt, who isn't always on target in other films, is really perfectly cast here, and he makes it work.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Accidental Tourist

Author: despaina from United States
10 March 2008

Upon seeing this movie again, 20 years later, I find the same feelings I have now as I did then. This movie was quirky in 1988, just as it is in 2008, but the crux of the film remains solid 20 years later. Just as a segment in the Special Features section of the DVD is entitled "Just Like Life", so is this movie. Anyone who has ever experienced any significant loss of someone dear to them can relate how it completely changes your life and who you are. "The Accidental Tourist" reaches into the core of grief, and the need for a second-chance at life, and how someone very special can help one get there.

Obviously, Geena Davis's performance is completely note-worthy and her performance also works well with the other characters, like the Leary family. She is a survivor and is a flip-side of the Learys, showing us how important change is in life and the spark one can provide someone like Macon, to not remain stagnant in life, but to move on and progress.

At 18 years old, I saw "The Accidental Tourist" in a movie theater and not knowing much about relationships, something about this movie touched me. I believe that it was, and still is, the power of change and the bright future we all can achieve, even in the hardest of times.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Quiet but Wonderful Film

Author: gws-2 from United States
4 December 2001

Macon Leary (William Hurt) is a withdrawn, careful man who is a travel writer, thus, the title of the film, "The Accidental Tourist." As the film opens, Macon and his wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner) are trying to come to grips with the bizarre, violent death of their twelve year-old son. Sarah leaves Macon and Macon meets the charmingly odd Murial Pritchett (Gena Davis) who trains Macon's dog, Edward, who is at least as traumatized by the son's death as are Macon and Sarah. Macon's zany sister (Amy Wright), two brothers (David Ogden Stears and Ed Begley, Jr.) and publisher and later brother-in law (Bill Pullman) are also heavily involved. The story involves Macon's gradual healing, which is largely the result of his relationship with the delightfully weird Murial.

The complexity and towering excentricity of these characters is both funny and heart warming. This movie does a wonderful job of portraying life's vicissitudes in a humane and humorous ways. It takes its time but giving it that time is rewarding. 8 out of 10. Highly recommended.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A moving and entertaining film.

Author: Mal Walker from Australia
7 October 2001

An enjoyable and entertaining film. Too often film viewers try to analyse films as though they were produced to portray exact clinical situations, or as training films for amateur psychologists, forget all that baggage, a good film is judged primarily as entertainment. This film shows how lives can interact and act upon others, grief like romance is not the same for everyone and does not follow strict guidelines (whatever the pseudo-psycho-analysts would like us to believe) A heartbroken man has lost his young son. He is slowly distancing himself from real life till he finds someone to love who needs someone to love. His wife played very well by Kathleen Turner is also heartbroken but like so often happens in these circumstances their loss comes between them and although together, they are drifting apart. Divorce is best and kindest for both of them before they spend their life ripping each other apart. In a way it is a re-awakening for both of them from the dark shadows of grief.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The movie discusses many issues such as: dealing with life after a great loss, how to start over, finding happiness and the troubled road to that wonderful place.

Author: Daniel Sandberg ( from Stockholm
15 March 2001

Accidental tourist

When I voted for this movie and clicked on the drop-down-menu and scrolled down I got to the number eight. When I had registered my vote I felt that it was a just grade for the movie.

The movie is about a couple, Macon and Sarah, who are struggling with their normal everyday-life after the loss of a eleven-year-old son. Almost in the beginning of the movie they decide to get a divorce because Sarah can not live together with Macon any longer. She thinks she is starting to develop a way of life which is very similar to the rest of Macon´s family and that is one thing she will not accept. That is her worst nightmare, according to herself. They separate and the movie starts.

The movie discusses many issues such as: dealing with life after a great loss, how to start over, finding happiness and the troubled road to that wonderful place.

What is really good about this picture is the actors: Bill Pullman plays a dull person with a social life of a single man, Kathleen Turner is a broken-hearted housewife, Geena Davis plays a dogtrainer who is after a man preferably Macon and William Hurt is the travelguidebookwriter who plays the main character brilliant.

There is no motion, there is no action. Instead of having music in the background all the time as in most films, Lawrence Kasdan has let the silence speak and describe the life of the characters. You will be amazed what silence can provide to the narration in movies. This movie turns out to be a regular movie but if you watch this nearly brilliant movie a few times and analyse it then you can see what lies behind the secure walls of most families and the problems they have encountered.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I love this movie. I am giving it a ten!

Author: Rosemea D.S. MacPherson from US
25 November 2000

This is a fantastic movie that looks inside relationships. It takes a very realistic view of marriage after the lost of a child. I will never understand why the average vote is only 6.7 for a movie such as this, one that is so true to reality, so well done. I love this movie. I am giving it a ten. I have always liked William Hurt's (Children of a Lesser God, The Kiss of a Spider Woman, Smoke) performances. He is an absolute genius! I like the title of this movie "Accidental Tourist", because the title is intriguing. How can a tour be accidental when most tours are planned? That made me curious. I really like Lawrence Kasdan's (Continental Divide, The Big Chill, Mumford ) work, and now I like his son's work as well.

I like the entire cast: especially Kathleen Turner (Undercover Blues) and Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show). "Muriel" is a weird character wearing those weird outfit, but sometimes even she can be very adorable. Bill Pullman "Julian" (Sleepless in Seattle, Sibling Rivalry, Zero Effect {which was written as well as directed by Jake Kasdan, who is the son of Lawrence Kasdan}) plays those types of personalities that border on weird really well. Interestingly, I did not notice that it was Bill Pullman until I bought the movie and watched it for the second time. Bill sometimes goes invisible in a movie, but he is not getting overexposed.

My favorite quotes: Macon Leary : "The suit should be medium grey, it not only hides the dirt but it comes handy for sudden funerals." Macon Leary: "Always bring a book as protection against strangers, magazines don't last, newspapers from elsewhere always remind you that you don't belong." Favorite Scenes: Macon is leaving Paris and gets a cab, this lovely young adult wishes him a good trip (the kid looks like his son would look like) and then he stops to pick up Muriel. This is an excellent movie!

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