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Listen to Me
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Listen to Me More at IMDbPro »

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

College Debate is NOT like this...

Author: Ogden Knight from United States
24 May 1999

First, I concur completely with the other review listed here. Beyond that, let me say this movie is an insult to college debate. As a former debator, coach, and director of debate, let me just say that our activities are nothing like these. Debators work hard, practice hard, and win through argumentation, strong evidence, and effective persuasion. Not through hoke, schmaltz, and a total lack of ethics. This just had to be said, as I am tired of people saying, "Oh, I know what college debate is like--I saw 'Listen To Me' a few years ago." Uh, no, you don't. Also, the plot is sophomoric, predictable, and the acting is terrible. This movie's only value is as a joke. A sad one, and only when you have an incredible amount of time to waste. P.S.--the Supreme Court has no interest in hearing college debates, and hackneyed, worn-out topics like "abortion" were debated back in the mid 1970's. Real debators are academicians, and they deal with topics that are relevant and timely. Aw, need I go on? This movie was horrible, and a horrific representation of a worthwhile activity. Please, if you see it, don't insult anyone associated with college debate by saying you know anything about what they do.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Loved the side stories

Author: lschow310
27 June 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've read the user comments for Listen to Me, and a lot of people didn't like it on grounds of "This is not what a real life college debate team is like."

I liked the movie, but it was the side stories and the past of all the characters that drew me, and discovering what that struggle is was the reward of the film: one girl had been raped, one struggled with the shame and deprivation of poverty, one rich guy who's struggling with reclaiming HIS life after being ruled by an iron thumb of a father, one girl who is ashamed of her limp but finds love in a guy who does not care about her limp, etc.

To another user review: The rich guy did NOT die after attempting to rape the girl. (SPOILER COMING UP) He wanted to chat, and he made some gesture which made her freak out because she had been raped before. It was a misunderstanding. As he tried to clear up the misunderstanding, he was hit by a car and died.

I have seen this movie several times and may see it again. It's the side story. The human lives behind the debate team that interested me. I may one of those people another user talked about as being in the same class as The Breakfast Club or St. Elmo's Fire.

So maybe only those people who like movies like The Breakfast Club or St. Elmo's Fire will like this movie.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Great Movie

Author: unicornsfairy from United States
14 April 2011

Is this movie ever going to come out on DVD? I love this movie, it has stayed with me for years because it captures the turmoil of teenagers learning how to live with the past and be a good person in the future. I would recommend that all teenagers see it, because it is so sincere and earnest. The emotion and confusion of being a good person, and a good student and a good friend is phenomenal. People are always wondering what they can do or say to be a better person and this movie teaches them that we all make mistakes, but we all survive. If a child or adult learns anything from this I would hope that it would be to treat each person fairly and compassionately. This movie shows that we all have our own demons and with the help and support of family, and friends we can all learn to deal with those demons without hurting those we love and using them as shields from our own pain.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Personal Reaction

Author: carissaphillips
21 October 2003

Listen to Me is, quite frankly, spectacularly bad, which makes it hard to rate. It was, quite unintentionally, hysterical at moments, and I love such great debating advice as, "We're not going to win with facts, so let's go for drama!" and suggesting that a new plan should be run in the 2AR. As other reviewers have noted, it does NOT represent debate very accurately at all, and is highly melodramatic and overwrought. However, as a debater (policy for 2 years in high school, now into my 3rd year of parliamentary in college), I enjoyed watching it, at least once, because it was so unintentionally funny. My coach last spring had us watch it during a meeting and we all laughed nonstop because of its inherent stupidity. My advice: if you're a debater, you might think this hilarious. If you're not, you might not enjoy it. Additionally, don't for a moment think that's how REAL debate is done. Just to pick one example, I cannot even begin to imagine my coach advising me to make up stories in order to win rounds. Side note of interest to debaters: Tom Miller, who is a debate official in the film, is an actual college debate coach at UCLA.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Waste, of breath, and life

Author: Matt from US
8 March 1999

I wasted two hours of my life watching this movie. I can't believe that I am wasting more time thinking about it and writing about it. But I must warn others who stumble upon this comment. Avoid this movie. Do not see it. I'm sure that after the actors made this movie, they felt so stupid that they never were seen in public again. This is the worst. I wanted it all to end.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:


Author: Adam Tan from Hershey, PA
15 February 2000

This is, perhaps, the worst film I've ever seen- all apologies to "Plan 9 from Outer Space," "C.H.U.D." and everything Van Damme. Kirk Cameron is, as always, brutal. His schoolboy grin and squeaky voice may have played in the insufferable world of TV sit-coms, but he should never- NEVER- again attempt to actually act. This movie is nothing more than the Breakfast Club meets the Pro-Life movement. It is preachy and condescending to its viewer and serves as nothing more than a platform for Douglas Day Stewart's right-wing pontification. His characters continually allude to Dostoevsky in a transparent attempt to gain some vestige of intellectual credibility. The film rings so hollow that, if it were a room, one could walk around in it for an eternity without encountering any substance whatsoever. As for the usually bearable Roy Scheider- I wonder what favor he owed and to whom that he wound up in this overblown, self-important waste of raw stock?

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some thought provoking moments make for a good film

Author: fitzerica from Canada
25 March 2016

I saw this movie when I was 19 years old and it always stuck with me. I remember then renting it on video (Yay VHS) and still liking it very much. So, now at nearly 46 years old I decided to watch it again to see if I still felt the same emotional impact that it first gave me all those years ago. YES, I still really like this movie. I still feel the heart of it and still appreciate most of the film for its emotional elements. I am pro-choice and will always vote pro- choice, but hope that most women never have to make such a difficult decision. I will always hope that women & men try their best with birth control so that they don't have to be subjected to such a painful life decision. For me as a supporter of pro-choice, to like this movie that was definitely more pro-life, means that it was well done, in my opinion. As far as the debating team not being realistic with regard to how it really is, I can't know that as a lay person, so it didn't affect my opinion of the film. I could see why it would annoy true debaters though. Anyway, I think that this film is well worth watching even with its flaws.

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A debate classic!

Author: bettyskokie from United States
28 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review contains a few spoilers.

I am a college debate coach that runs a summer debate camp for high school and college debaters. One of the highlights of camp each year is the night we gather unsuspecting students in a lecture hall and have them watch Listen to Me. At first the students are confused. Are we showing this because we really think its good? Is this some kind of sick joke? If I laugh at it will I offend the camp staff? Why didn't the woman stop the car before she ran over that dude despite clearly seeing him well in advance?

If you have any sort of debate background you know about this movie. It is completely awesome! The debate tryout in the coliseum. The rock star status of the debate coach. The star debater that just wants to be a playwright. Drunken sexual assault. Abortions. Emotionally vulnerable Supreme Court justices. And the famous 'plan in the 2AR.'

If you don't like this movie it is because you are not a debate nerd with the ability to laugh at the most overwrought depiction of live on the debate circuit ever produced.

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Listen To Me

Author: d_m_s from United Kingdom
27 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I only watched this for Amanda Peterson (after watching her great performance in Can't Buy Me Love) but turns out she wasn't in it much and her character was a pointless one at that.

However, I was very impressed with Jami Gertz's performance. I always thought she was rather dull in The Lost Boys and have never in the last 18 years or so ever come across anything else she has been in. OK, so I have seen Mischief and Sixteen Candles but I didn't notice her in either. It surprises me that she didn't become more successful after this film.

It's one of those small 'lost' 80's films that is quite enjoyable despite its flaws and sits well alongside the likes of Can't Buy Me Love, Secret Admirer and My Bodyguard.

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Absolutely atrocious

Author: callanvass from victoria b.c canada
22 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Man, what a dud! I try to finish every movie that I can, no matter how horrible it is. I couldn't stand more than 50 minutes of this movie. I consider the 80's to be the golden age of movies, but they are responsible for some atrocities as well. This movie takes itself way too seriously. This was the end of the 80's, and films like this were becoming rapidly obsolete, considering how awful this movie is that's a good thing. We get groan inducing terms such as "Spank the monkey" , "Choke the chicken" Many sexual innuendo's that feel incredibly dated. We get an interesting storyline about abortion that fails to capitalize on the immense potential that subject has. I also hated how quickly Jami Gertz and Kirk Cameron's romance blossomed. More buildup would have been nice. Kirk Cameron has the lame Oklahoma accent that keeps shifting. His performance is aggressively cocky and downright terrible. Jami Gertz doesn't fare much better. She's easy to look at, but that's about it. Roy Scheider can peel a potato and be interesting most of the time, but even he bored me in this one. I felt Amanda Peterson stole the show in this movie

The 80's produced a lot of good coming of age films, but this is not one of them. It's very boring. Let it stay in obscurity where it belongs


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