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An Unremarkable Life (1989)

PG | | Drama | 12 October 1989 (USA)
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Credited cast:
Evelyn McEllany
Max Chin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jenny Chrisinger ...
Lou (as Charles Dutton)
Mary Alice
Madeleine Sherwood ...


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Release Date:

12 October 1989 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Filmed primarily in Mercer and Sharon, Pennsylvania. The diner and adjacent gas station were refurbished for the movie. The diner was sold a few years later to a buyer in Germany, dismantled and shipped over. The gas station has since been torn down. See more »


Frances and Max sit down to play a game of Monopoly in real screen time. However, Max proceeds from the GO space to Park Place in just three rolls of the dice (an impossibility), while Frances somehow gets out of the JAIL space without rolling doubles (another impossibility). See more »


Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A bittersweet love story, satisfying, with a great mature cast
22 February 2002 | by (Palm Desert, California) – See all my reviews

I'm tired of all the films being released about young love, older guys and younger women, ad nauseum. An Unremarkable Life is a welcome sight for those of us who don't mind if the cast is "up there" in age and can appreciate the leisure pace of the story. It brings back fond memories of films like On Golden Pond, The Whales of August, Travelling North, and the more recent Innocence.

Patricia Neal (as Frances) and Shelley Winters (as Evelyn) are sisters who have shared a house together for 15 years, and life is quite routine for them. Evelyn is stern and very emotionally dependent on Frances, actually finding comfort in Frances' lack of a "life." Frances is a friendly loving person though, just feeling that she has had "an unremarkable life" and often laments on her days of flying a plane. One day while her car is at a repair garage, she meets a mechanic played by Mako. A nice friendship begins and Evelyn feels her relationship with her sister is threatened....but a beautiful film like this obviously won't let us down and go for a sad ending, it's handled just right and will satisfy those wanting to enjoy a nice romantic film. The story and conclusion, while melodramatic to "too serious" viewers, is quite sweet and satisfying. Will Frances choose between her sister or an opportunity for true love? Ahh, somehow you know it will work out!

It's a tale of sibling devotion, old-fashioned values, bigotry, longing, and sacrifice. It's a perfect film to cuddle up with someone special and let it take you away. Patricia Neal is charming as ever, Winters shows her dramatic yet vulnerable edge so well, and Mako is a perfect gentleman. It's a delightful mix of characters and an engrossing experience. An Unremarkable Life is a real gem and worth the effort to seek this one out. A true classic to discover. I'm hanging on to my bargain no-frills DVD dearly in hopes that one day it's given the deserved DVD treatment!

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