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A Cool, Dry Place (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  29 January 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,347 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 13 critic

A single father balances his work as an attorney with the care of his five year old son and his work as a high school basketball coach in rural Kansas, where he moved after his wife ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Beth Ward
Bobby Moat ...
Calvin Durrell
Bob Harper
Joyce Ives
Charlotte (as Siobhan Fallon)
Larry Ives (as Christopher Bauer)
Frankie Gooland
Carol Holman
Tom Johnson
Jack Newbauer
Dara Perlmutter ...


A single father balances his work as an attorney with the care of his five year old son and his work as a high school basketball coach in rural Kansas, where he moved after his wife abandoned him in Chicago. Just as he starts to develop a new relationship with a veterinarian's assistant, his ex-wife suddenly reappears and wants to re-assert herself in her husband and son's life. On top of the romantic conflict, he is also suddenly presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to join a major firm in Dallas. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


love, sex and starting over...



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dance Real Slow  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kate Durrell: [to Russ] When I was in the bathroom, I was thinking about the time, God, I don't even think Calvin was 6-months-old, when we were down at the lake. And it started to rain, and you put him in the ice chest, you covered him - you covered him with a blanket. And that's the way I always think of him when I think of him with you. Y'know, being safe and protected in a cool dry place.
See more »


Features Battle Creek Brawl (1980) See more »


Hard To Handle
Written by Alen Jones, Al Bell * Otis Redding
Performed by Otis Redding
See more »

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User Reviews

Lovely story about a single-parent father and his young son, but you would never know it from the film's cover or description
6 December 2007 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Russ (Vince Vaughn) has moved to a little town on the prairie. Once a hotshot Chicago lawyer, he lost his job when his wife took off and left him the sole provider for his five year old son. Now a country lawyer with a big house and yard, Russ and wee Calvin are learning to adjust. Calvin is making friends and loves the wide open spaces while Russ starts dating a nice veterinary assistant named Beth (Joey Lauren Adams, looking very lovely). But, unhappily, the ex-wife, Kate (Monica Potter) suddenly returns and wants time with her son, messing with Russ's mind. Then, too, Russ believes he needs a higher profile job to feel complete. How will it all end? This is an excellent movie about a single-parent father and his young son. But, alas, the film's cover and description lead one to believe it is a love triangle story, with hardly a mention for the darling little boy. Not so. The movie is about finding out what is important in life and what is not, with most of its footage devoted to the special relationship between a parent and a child. Vaughn is excellent as the caring father, just excellent. If you are a fan of his comedic talents, you might be surprised by the depth of his acting range. Adams is likewise very attractive as a small town girl with a big heart while Potter delivers a fine performance in a thankless, complex role. The rest of the cast is up to par as well, the costumes well-chosen and the grassland setting most beautiful. In short, you may never have heard of this film but it is richly rewarding and deserves a large audience. You will not be in a "high and dry" situation if you bring this film home tonight.

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