6.7/10
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22 user 17 critic

Paradise (1991)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 October 1991 (USA)
Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (at the time married to each other) play Lily and Ben Reed, a young couple torn apart by a family tragedy. It would take a miracle to rekindle their love ... See full summary »

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(screenplay)
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ben Reed
...
...
...
Sally Pike
...
Rosemary Young
Louise Latham ...
Catherine Reston Lee
...
Earl McCoy
...
Darlene Pike
...
Minister
Rick Andosca ...
Ernest Parkett
Anthony Romano ...
Popular Boy
Timothy Erskine ...
Darlene's Boyfriend
Chestley Price ...
Bus Driver
...
Bartender
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Storyline

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson (at the time married to each other) play Lily and Ben Reed, a young couple torn apart by a family tragedy. It would take a miracle to rekindle their love and a miracle arrives in the form of a summer guest - Willard Young played by Elijah Wood. Written by Pfyre Caidmon <OShaun@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They gave a boy a summer he'd always remember. He gave them back the love they lost. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Földi paradicsom  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$18,634,643 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melanie Griffin and Don Johnson were married in real life at the time this movie was made. It was their second time to be married to each other after a six-month marriage in the mid 70's. See more »

Goofs

In one of final scenes where child actors say goodbye to each other, a glass vase of flowers behind Thora Birch's character keeps appearing and disappearing. See more »

Quotes

Willard Young: I'm always afraid of things. I don't know why, but I am. And I just thought if I did something that really scared me, maybe I wouldn't be afraid anymore.
Lily Reed: Did it work?
Willard Young: Yeah... it did.
See more »


Soundtracks

DON'T NEED LOVE
Written by Johnny Diesel
Performed by Johnny Diesel & The Injectors
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Paradise indeed
27 December 2005 | by (Klagenfurt, Austria) – See all my reviews

This movie is one of my favorites. When I came to see it I was by no means expecting a movie that would capture and inspire me the way 'Paradise' actually did.

As with many other extraordinary movies, both the plot and the actors have managed to leave a lasting impression on my mind.

First of all, the four protagonists of the story are simply wonderfully cast. There is hardly any movie in which the main characters manage to interact in a more sophisticated and authentic manner as in this one. Elijah Wood as young Willard has a gift of working so impressively with facial expressions and has genuine, very subtle acting skills that allow him to act as if he would not act. He has acquired a level of acting many average actor never attain in their entire lives. Willard is very much an outcast figure, with a strained mother, bullied at school and somehow too smart to be a normal kid. Now he has to spend the summer on the countryside, in a sleepy fishing village with the Reeds family.

The Reeds are played by Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. They portray a couple that has to live with a deep scar, a huge burden of the past, which gradually destroys their relationship. Now in real life, the two of them were married twice – and actually married during the shooting, which adds a very spicy element to the movie itself. Their private relationship might have had some sort of influence on their acting performances, and maybe this aspect caused the tremendously strong quality of the interactive scenes between the two of them.

Now as Willard enters into the lives of the Reeds, their problems resurface and the friction intensifies as both of them discover a very honest affection towards the charming boy. This is an affection that makes the old wounds hurt and leads to an emotional climax that is simply one of the finest I have ever seen in a movie like this one which is not primarily arranged as a real-life drama, but rather meant to provide some light entertainment.

The Reeds' painful struggle with their past's legacy is the strongest aspect of the movie, and as stated above, brilliantly elaborated on. Elijah's adventures with Thora Birch, the fourth main character, makes up the second major theme of 'Paradise', a theme that has much more light-heartedness and is both funny and sweet in the most positive aspect of the word. They discover the bonds of friendship and experience the inspiring magic of one summer in Paradise.

The storyline, based on the French production 'Le Grand Chemin', is very sophisticated and convincingly transformed. Willard has to face challenges and the hardships of life, he learns lessons and has to proof his courage and character more than once. The movie features outstanding character portrayals and profound emotions which pervade the atmosphere and make you identify with the protagonists as if you were there and knew them – an incredible accomplishment. I fell in love with it at the first glance, and it truly deserves a solid 9, if not a 10.


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