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|Index||97 reviews in total|
If you are looking for a movie where you'll feel "at least my life isn't THAT bad" then this is the movie for you. Don't get me wrong; I really like this movie...I have since I first saw it in the 80's. But this is a story that draws you into a world of people with deep quirks and hangups. There is a lot to like about the sleepy pace of this movie if you are looking for a wintry, November kind of movie, next to a fire, on a Sunday afternoon. It's the type of thing that you let lull you to sleep or reflect deeply on what's important in life. "The Accidental Tourist" really is dated now; Geena Davis' Madonna-wear makes you wonder if anyone could take her seriously...but at the time this was made, her style was all the rage. In some ways the characters are extreme caricatures, or are they? People are generally weird, we just don't get to see it much. This movie gets under your skin and makes you prioritize. It makes you not want to die lonely and alone...but if you are, before the fire in a nice big Victorian during a light snowfall.
I like drama. I like deep emotions and great acting. This movie has some of the former and much of the latter. But at the end, you'll still be wondering why Muriel, a virtually flawless woman (except for, if you want to put it that way and as far as I can tell, a physically weak kid), want to put in all that work into restoring the life of Macon. It's not even that the death of his own child led to a cocooned life; it turns out all his siblings are like that, if not more so. In real life, a very attractive woman like Muriel is not going to put in that effort to transform a man, because if she does it for one why wouldn't she do it for all the others? I find the supposed blossoming romance totally unrealistic. Like Macon realized, he's no catch, while she's the best thing that could ever come along. And that's the way it would have stayed - in real life. She had to do all the work to get him to open up, literally giving her body in the process to do so. It was all give and no take. Ain't gonna happen, my friend.
Movie about a man (William Hurt) dealing with the death of his son. His
wife (Kathleen Turner) abandons him and he's all alone. He meets a
wonderful woman (Geena Davis) but is she enough to help
It looks fantastic (superb direction) and great acting by all (Geena Davis won an Oscar)...but I was bored by this movie. It only scratches the surface of Hurt's character...I never once got a clear feeling of what was inside. Turner is given VERY short shrift in this movie too--there are NO insights to her. Ditto with Davis--but she's having so much fun with the role it kind of rubs off.
I suppose the script was OK but I seriously had trouble staying awake! The movie plods on endlessly with pointless, mind-numbing dialogue. A clear point of view might have helped here! Also, when it came out, a lot of my friends saw it and said the same thing--it was boring. It's only known for Davis winning the Oscar.
I'm giving it a 5 for the acting and direction--but that's it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There were several odd mistakes in the movie, I'm surprised no one else
picked up on them. There was a scene in which William Hurt was in a
grocery store and on the back wall is a large sign indicating it's the
bakery. But if you look, you can see produce (kale, spinach, celery)
and off to the side, flats of eggs. Another error was when Muriel first
began training the dog, her stockings have seams in them yet seconds
later, they are seamless.
The original movie, starring Rowan Atkinson as the Macon Leary character had much more charm. This was especially evident during his family scenes, where his siblings were played by Walton Goggins (as Proctor) Ben Kingsley (as Charles) and Stockard Channing as Rose. The original movie also had the better title, that is, The Redundant Traveler, and with the Muriel Pritchett character played by Glenn Close, it was much more believable. The fact that the dog in the second movie was a Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig in the original also just made better sense.
this is the second lawarance kasdan movie that i have watched (the other was "the big chill") and it is the second of his movies to anger me. at least in these two films he seems to feel that divorce just does not affect anyone. his sentiment is that if you are in love with someone then you should go with it. his sentiment is that you should make your choices concerning marriage and divorce based on what is in it for you. in both of these movies he has failed to show just how divorce affects not only the couple, but also children and families involved. what is really funny is that in the accidental tourist the final decision for the main couple to split for good is like this theraputic thing. ha! inaccuracy is one of kasdans talents. divorce tears families apart and it tears people apart. step fathers are rarely the figure that is depicted in "the accidental tourist". most of the time step fathers dont know how to relate to a child that is not theirs and the child does not know how to relate to a father that is not theirs. and it hurts. sure, kasdans ideas are nice and gushy and they remind us that americas view of love is a feeling. marriage is a self-less matter. marriage is about commitment, loyalty, giving, and learning how to recieve. kasdan does not understand marriage in the least. was the movie well made. yes. was the acting good. for the most part. does "the accidental tourist" hold your attention. yeah. and yet the movies message is a lie and a fable in the real world. on a screen it may make us feel good in the end, but in real life it crushes us and it should because we were meant to be married and to live, grow old, and love one person. it is a shame that the oscars even considered these movies worthy for a nomination. well...i'm done
I guess I have the curse of having read the book -- and while some people
may think I'm crazy, but Muriel's character is wrong in the film. Wrong,
For one, she's played one dimensionally, while in the book, she is sometimes nasty, shrewish, and uncaring.
You never get to meet her parents, and her sister Claire is only hinted at. Dominick doesn't exist either, but he's extremely important to the plot, as he provides one of the choices the characters make in the book.
Also, the ending is flawed. In the book, Macon never breaks up with Sarah. Instead, he simply views it as "another stage of his marriage."
That said, one of the most important moments of the book is captured -- the French boy that helps Macon. In the book, Macon wonders if Ethan would have grown to be such a boy. It's echoed perfectly in the movie.
But Muriel is a badly translated character that the Lawrence Kasdan tried too hard to be likeable. She ends up being a one dimensional Kooky Character (capital K, capital C), and it just doesn't work.
William Hurt plays a writer of travel guides designed to make your trip as
safe & well-planned as possible, even to the point of suggesting ways to
make yourself "feel at home" while staying in remote destinations. He
so far as to recommend places to get a good ol' American hot dog while in
Europe, etc, etc.
His rather boring, uneventful existence is disrupted when first, his son dies, then within a year, his wife (Kathleen Turner) leaves him, after which he runs into an aggressive and flirty dog-trainer (Geena Davis) who begins pursuing him romantically. (although, you'll never understand why Geena's character, an attractive, single mom, hasn't found anyone better than him, nor why she'd be interested in such an elusive, muttering and boring man)
Although she actually manages to pull him out of his shell and he embraces her and her son, the real conflict comes when he has to deal with the commitment this is leading towards, especially considering he's still clinging dearly to photos and memories of his dead son.
Things really get hairy when his wife finally gets lonely herself, and wants him back. He then has to decide between his fresh new, unpredictable life with the dog-trainer and her son, or the safe, comfortable existence full of memories with his wife.
The movie is as slow as William Hurt's character is boring. Some people won't mind this, but when you couple that with the fact that all of the acting seems "forced" and odd, it doesn't make for a very good movie. Touching story though.
Nominated for four Academy Awards, Lawrence Kasdan's The Accidental Tourist
has some remarkable performances from William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and
Geena Davis, but it is lacking in energy and never really comes to life.
William Hurt plays Macon Leary, a depressed writer of travel guidebooks
whose purpose is to steer business travelers to accommodations and
restaurants that feel most like home, considering it a triumph to ''locate a
meal in London not much different from a meal in Cleveland. Macon has become
withdrawn and uncommunicative since the murder of his son Ethan at a
fast-food restaurant one year ago and Hurt turns Macon's passivity into an
art form, barely raising his voice beyond a whisper throughout the two-hour
When Sarah (Kathleen Turner), Macon's wife of many years leaves him, he offers only a scant protest, content to move quietly back to his grandparents' house with his brothers and sister. The siblings, Rose (Amy Wright), Porter (David Ogden Stiers), and Charles (Ed Begley, Jr.) offer little stimulation and amply demonstrate why they are difficult to live. They obsessively alphabetize items in the pantry, play weird card games, and do not answer their telephone. Rose breaks out to marry Macon's publisher Julian (Bill Pullman) but moves back to the family house shortly afterwards because she has to look after "the boys". Macon mopes through each day, resisting any attempt to bring him out of his shell. When he locates a kennel to take care of his overly aggressive dog Edward, he meets Muriel Pritchett (Geena Davis), an eccentric and lonely dog trainer.
Muriel is a single mom who has a somewhat sickly seven-year old named Alexander and immediately zeroes in on Macon as a possible catch. Even though Macon rebuffs her overtures and they seem to have little in common, Muriel doggedly pursues him, trying to light a spark of life in the reclusive writer. Muriel seems to offer Macon a way out, but her abrasive neediness and the prospect of having deal with another child so soon after losing his own propels Macon to run the other way. When his wife Sarah returns seeking reconciliation, Macon must choose to go back to the way it was or take a chance that life could work better with Muriel.
The Accidental Tourist is based on a novel by Anne Tyler and the dialogue is literary but does not have a feeling for the way that people talk. For example, Sarah tells Macon, ''there's something muffled about the way you experience things, it's as if you were trying to slip through life unchanged.'' At the end, there is no transformation, only a turn from no aliveness to a bit more. If life is about making choices, Macon passively lets life make the choices for him and he ends up with the "lesser of two evils" more out of exhaustion than commitment. Geena Davis is deserving of an Oscar for her performance but neither her talents nor the considerable talents of Hurt and Turner could make me believe that by the end of the film any of the characters have moved one step closer to happiness.
'The Accidental Tourist' follows the emotional rebirth of William Hurt's character Macon, a man of intensely reserved character who has retreated further into himself following the death of his son. The best part of the film is the fine black comedy surrounding himself and his patrician family. But the plot is dependent on a strange woman basically throwing herself at his unresponsive self with no invitation but infinite patience; and when his ex-wife re-expresses her interest as well, it's hard to feel sorry for a man totally unable to count his blessings yet bizarrely attractive to the opposite sex. 'The Accidental tourist' is not a terrible film; but it tries to wear a bit more hear on its sleeve than it actually has.
This looked like the type of film I would enjoy, but I didn't. Frankly,
it looks like it's trying too hard to exude quirky charm, and in no
moment is this more evident than when we find Hurt's relatives
alphabetizing their kitchen cupboards--a quirky cliché if there ever
was one. (I distinctly remember this being touted on the video box as
an example of how "funny" the film allegedly is.) Hurt's character
comes off as a smug bore rather than a grieving parent who's shut down.
I can understand why he chose to play Macon in such a manner, but it
left me waiting for a part in the clouds that would never come. For a
better take on this state of mind, see Juliette Binoche in Blue.
The fact that Geena Davis managed to breathe life into this at all is reason enough for her to have won the Academy Award, but Hurt's character doesn't deserve her. Her allergic-to-everything son is the only other interesting character in the film. I haven't read Anne Tyler's book, but it may have been a better idea to take these characters out of it and build a story for them alone.
For a much better tragicomic look at grief, may I suggest the wonderfully bittersweet 1990 film about grief, Men Don't Leave. In it, Jessica Lange and Arliss Howard exhibit more chemistry in their first meeting than Hurt and Davis do in this whole film.
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