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David Lewis is affected by the death of his wife Gillian, who fell from the mast pole of their boat on a sailing trip two years ago. David deals with his grief by continuing his romance with Gillian during walks with her ghost on the beach at night. While David lives in the past, other family problems crop up in the present in the real world. He neglects his teenage daughter Rachel and his in-laws come for a weekend visit to help her. Rachel has lost her mother and needs her father to snap back into the real world and help her. Written by
David Stumme <email@example.com>
This is one of the worst play-to-film adaptations I've ever seen. Of course, that's because it's a terrible hack job of one of my favorite stage plays, so I'm biased.
It does my heart good to see David E. Kelley completely bombing out every time he tries to make a feature film. The guy is so overrated (in my opinion.) And he really, REALLY blew it with this movie, considering how excellent, how genuinely moving the source material is.
When I went to see the film (with well-founded trepidation), I noticed that the only laughs generated out of the dialogue were for jokes that are found in the original play. Unfortunately, Kelley has done great violence to the original story in his filmic massacre...I mean "adaptation"...and the movie falls flat, flat, flat. It utterly misses the deeper points of the stage drama.
In fact, except for the basics of plot, it barely resembles the award-winning play at all. Esther, instead of being a professional psychologist, becomes in the movie version a busybody nag who has taken a couple of psychology classes, which somehow qualifies her to analyze the main character David. Pretty lame.
David E. Kelley (not the main character, thank God), in his infinite wisdom, turns Cindy into a horny little slut who tries to seduce Paul, instead of keeping her the teenage girl next door who has the sweet, and somehow sad, schoolgirl crush on David. Gillian's depth and complexity of character completely disappears. In the film she's merely an ethereal beauty who hangs around to inanely chat with David. The point of the play is that she's both saint and sinner -- something Esther wants David to remember, before he idealizes her into a fantasy that drives him literally crazy.
Ugh! I could go on, but it will simply make me angrier and angrier. This movie stinks. Read the play. It's only a hundred thousand times better than the movie, that's all.
14 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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