Maureen is pregnant and her husband Eddie is missing. Nervous, Maureen shares a couple of drinks with neighbor Kiefer, who tries to rape her and then beats her. When Eddie returns and finds... See full summary »
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After a husband is accused of driving his third wife to suicide, his first wife Hedda, a troubled woman who can't hate or hurt others even if they had wronged her, is subpoenaed to testify on his abusive behavior during their marriage.
Maureen is pregnant and her husband Eddie is missing. Nervous, Maureen shares a couple of drinks with neighbor Kiefer, who tries to rape her and then beats her. When Eddie returns and finds his wife bruised, he goes ballistic, shoots a paramedic and is put in a psychiatric institution. Ten years later, Eddie is released and finds that Maureen has divorced him and is remarried with three children, one of whom is his little girl Jeanie. Eddie goes to reclaim his wife. Written by
None of the major characters in this movie is particularly redeemable, yet it remains a fascinating film. Eddie (Sean Penn) is a hard-drinking working guy, devoted to his friends and passionate about his wife Maureen (Robin Wright Penn). Eddie's mentally unstable; he has a very weak grasp on the concepts of time and space, and thus often vanishes for days at a time without realising how long he's been gone (and without understanding why Maureen worries about him). Maureen is equally passionate about Eddie; but he's been gone for three days at the start of the film, and their neighbour Kiefer is pleasant and more importantly -there-, and she accepts his offer of drinks and later of dancing. Kiefer pushes it too far, however, and though Maureen tries to keep the truth from him, Eddie finds out. His tenuous grasp on mental stability snaps at this point, and this is really the climax of the film.
As has been mentioned before, this is not an Oscar-winning film. Not because it's not excellent -- with a script by John Cassavetes and command performances by both Penns (spectacular, really, both of them, in roles that would have been poorly played by clumsier actors) and John Travolta, and excellent supporting roles all around -- but because it isn't a Hollywood movie about Good versus Bad, with Good ultimately triumphing. People don't make good choices. People aren't particularly "good" parents. What ultimately happens isn't supposed to happen in the movies. But it does, and it's true to the characters, and it lifts this film up above the usual sugar-coated drabble we're so often fed by the cookie-cutter that is Hollywood.
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