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The Accidental Tourist
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The Accidental Tourist More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A subtle and lovely film

9/10
Author: mwardf (mwardf@ntlworld.com) from Bedford England
26 June 2005

This is a film that engages you. It's an old plot but it is beautifully done, (even the child is not unnecessarily intrusive). There are also great cameos and an intriguing sub plot - it is not to be missed.

The direction is subtle and well judged and the use of scene is very sophisticated in places. The director handles the three stars very well and they respond, as you would expect, in consistent and persuasive performances. Hurt is so achingly lost that you want to scream at him. Davis is wonderful as the saviour and her sensitivity is there for all to see. Turner plays her role in a way that allows for the unexpected revelation of her humanity.

This is a film that could have degenerated into utter tripe in the wrong hands but it doesn't and it is a triumph - it is difficult to understand why it is something of a lost gem.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Touring the Human Soul.

Author: tfrizzell from United States
1 November 2003

Travel-guide writer William Hurt is hurting emotionally after his young son was killed in a robbery. Time is not healing the wounds and wife Kathleen Turner just cannot seem to cope and decides to leave to start a new life on her own. Hurt then finds love in pet-keeper Oscar-winner Geena Davis (who has a young son of her own) and it appears that the hurt will finally go away. But what happens when Turner comes back and wants to work the marriage out? "The Accidental Tourist" is one of those frustrating productions that always seems to be nearly truly special, but never quite reaches its mark. Co-writer/director Lawrence Kasdan (Oscar-nominated for his screenplay) toes the line on deep human wants, needs and emotions, but never hits the mark. Like the equally under-achieving "The Big Chill", "The Accidental Tourist" is more about missed opportunities than accurate executions. 4 stars out of 5.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

most underated drama ever

10/10
Author: takatomon from where i am is where i am
18 November 2001

It is a shame that most people aren't even aware of this film. It isn't a major blockbuster, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable low key drama. Before the story begins, the son of a married couple is killed in a robbery in a fast food restaurant. His father Macon Leary becomes reclusive and his wife Margaret leaves him. From there the story explores his issues with the loss and moving on with his life. (his job is writing "accidental tourist" guides for travelling salsemen so that wherever they go they can feel like they never left home) He finds that life's unexpected twists take him on a journey of self discovery and re-evaluation. We meet his eccentric family and other characters that impact his future along the way. It is an ocassionally subtly funny movie and has some nice dramatic twists, but like Macon Leary, the movie is probably a little too detached for the average viewer. I feel that that's precisely the movies charm. If you want to be wowed out of your seat... this isn't your movie. It's a nice quiet movie that one might think of as "steel magnolias for men".

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A must see.

10/10
Author: Alyssa Sloane from London, England
2 February 2001

When I first saw this movie, I cried buckets of tears. It is very emotional and heartfelt. It is a great Sunday night movie, just to watch to relax to and cry. Every adult needs to see this movie. The acting is wonderful, especially Davis.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Davis' AND Hurt's Best Film

8/10
Author: Petunia-2 from Maryland
18 October 1999

Probably the best performances I have ever seen out of Geena Davis AND William Hurt. AND !BIG SURPRISE! Kathleen Turner does not overact in this one--I think it was not long after this film that Turner started going over the top.

This is a sad, introspective film so if you don't like to watch movies which portray life's real problems, skip this one. And, yes, even though Geena Davis is supposed to be a Baltimore city woman and does not have one HINT of our beloved accent, I let it go. I cared so much about her and her son in this film and wanted so much for Macon and his family to love them as I did.

In this film, Muriel (Geena) meets Macon (Hurt), who is deeply mourning the accidental death of his young son which has apparently caused Macon and his wife Sarah (Turner) to separate. Geena's smile can light up a room. In some scenes, you just want to hug her! Her films today have been few and far between. She needs to rehire the agent who put her in this film, "The Fly" and "Thelma & Louise" because they are, by far, her best.

For those of you who have never experienced agonizing grief in your own lives, you may not understand Hurt's feelings. For me, I cried deeply watching him battle his pain and internal chaos--should he stay with Turner, should he start a new life with Davis? His choices may seem simple to you, but believe me, having been in his shoes, I know that something simple like picking out what clothes to wear to work each day is a monumental task. I can't remember ever liking Hurt in anything he has done, but he nailed this part. I am sure he dug up this pain from some godforsaken part of his life, and he surely deserved an award for this role. I was rooting for him to "let go" of the past the entire film--it took me a whole year to do so in my own life.

Ladies, this is definitely a "whole box of tissue" movie.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of the great American films of the last 20 years

Author: Dean Walker from Swansea, UK.
19 January 2004

At last,the dvd has arrived and it is a pure joy from start to finish.I was 21 when I first saw this film at the theatre and I knew it was good then,but now,a little older and wiser,I consider it a masterpiece.William Hurt's performance is mesmerising and Geena Davis is at her best.The dvd has 14 deleted scenes and I do feel sorry for Kathleen Turner,as some of her best work is on the cutting room floor.If you enjoy a real actor's movie,then this will not disappoint.The last 5 minutes,with marvellous John Williams underscoring,is sheer perfection.How this did not win best picture I shall never know.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Hurt / Turner together again

Author: caspian1978 from Boston, MA
29 June 2002

You can't help but think back to Body Heat when you watch Hurt & Turner in the Accidental Tourist. Unlike Body Heat, we see the two as a struggling married couple. The exact opposite from their roles in the passion play movie of the early 1980's. Two amazing actors, the film gets more character drivin as Turner's character brings more and more to her role as the story unfolds. All in all, it is a wonderful look into the lives of 3 people who are living their lives in the past, hoping for a better future. Believe it or not, I recommend this movie for a good "date" picture for boy friend and girl friend. Give it a look to see how your "partner" reads the film.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Bravo!

Author: DeeDee-10 from San Francisco
16 July 1999

An beautifully crafted screenplay for a sharp, moving, gentle film. Great performances by all. Scenes that stand out especially: the turkey dinner; the close-up Davis and Hurt embracing as he opens his grieving heart to her.

What a cute, well-trained dog!

I'll be watching this film again.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

the perfect drama

10/10
Author: (tthomaslew76@hotmail.com) from austin/houston tx
21 May 2004

Nowadays, relationship movies are simple. The characters are underdeveloped. The plots are either unrealistic or extreme. The actors and actresses too over the top. Fortunately this movies does not follow that pattern. From the beginning, William Hurt is a predictable cynic who plans everything. Towards the end there is a gradual change in him. Courtesy of Geena Davis through her aggressive yet subtle pursuit of him. Yet he can't help but slip right back into the old groove. The movie like Hurt himself is a bit distant but it works extremely well here. There is also a classical ending and great final score. Possibly the best serious relationship movie ever. Watch it and enjoy!

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

An excellent film that may be fading from memory

10/10
Author: Tony Mastrogiorgio (tony.mastrogiorgio@prodigy.net) from Pleasant Hill, CA
1 April 2004



Quick: what movie am I describing?

An eccentric writer is rescued from emotional isolation by a working class woman with a chronically sick son. A small dog plays a key role in the story.

Chances are you thought of As Good As It Gets, with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. The comparison is interesting for a number of reasons. FOr one, it shows how essentially the same logline or story concept can be treated very differently. But more interesting is that the comparison shows the lack of depth in the admittedly enjoyable As Good As It Gets.

Take for example, the children. Hunt's son suffers from chronic allergies and she is constantly frazzled with worry about him. Having introduced this heavy theme, you might expect the story to revolve around this emotional issue. Instead, Dr. Harold Ramis shows up unexpectedly (summoned by Nicholson) and--a bad joke about HMO's later--the boy is cured.

In Accidental Tourist, William Hurt plays the writer of travel books for people who hate to travel. He gives them tips on how to travel in their own portable cocoon. Yet his life is shattered (before the film begins) when his son is gunned down at a McDonalds in a random shooting. This withdrawn man withdraws even more, finishing off his marriage. Yet when Geena Davis forces her way into his life he begins to connect again. But she has a chronically sick boy. (She explains, almost blithely, at one point the number of things that could kill him or put him in the hospital.) There is a wonderful moment when Hurt finds the lonely boy walking home from school (being ignored by his friends). They chat a moment, then Hurt's voice over (which frequently quotes from his travel books in ironic contrast to the story) says, "Business travelers should never take along something they couldn't bear to lose." As the voice over says that, the little boy's hand slips into Hurts and they walk home together.

It's a small, wonderful moment. There are no miracle cures from super doctors. Instead there is the acceptance that love requires risk, that you have to accept the possibility of loss. It's a deep, mature, moving film, wonderfully acted, that also manages to be funny without sacrificing any of its depth. It is Lawrence Kasdan's best film and deserves renewed interest.

PS: The similarities between As Good As It Gets and The Accidental Tourist cannot have escaped James L Brooks attention. After all, he cast Kasdan in a cameo as Nicholson's shrink. Yet as far as I know, I have never seen a critic comment on the similarities.

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