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The Sky Is Falling (2001)

 -  Drama | Comedy  -  7 June 2001 (Australia)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 288 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

A young woman, struggling to become a novelist, has her life go into a tailspin. Her first novel is rejected, her non-committal boy friend decides to take a powder, her best friend moves to... See full summary »


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Title: The Sky Is Falling (2001)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Hall
Amber Lee
Mona Hall
Yogi Cook
Mr. Finch
Fran Bennett ...
Mrs. Quinn
Mrs. Finch
Lab Technician
Audrey Gelfund ...
Ron Litman ...


A young woman, struggling to become a novelist, has her life go into a tailspin. Her first novel is rejected, her non-committal boy friend decides to take a powder, her best friend moves to Mexico for an acting job, and her mother announces that her long presumed dead father is actually a hippie photographer who has come to town to meet her. Sinking into a depression at being a total failure at 28, she starts fantasizing about suicide. In her depths of despair she meets various eccentric characters including a chain-smoking Santa Claus and an obnoxious literary agent. But her belief in herself is only restored when she meets a patient in a hospital where she does volunteer work. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including disturbing images | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 June 2001 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Au bout du désespoir  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bert Remsen's final film. See more »


References Murder, She Wrote (1984) See more »


Modern Day Woman
Performed by The Four Postmen
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User Reviews

An extremely enjoyable film.
31 January 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Caught this little gem on cable the other night and I must say I was thoroughly impressed. Sadly, it's one of those movies that never really made it "big." No (incredibly) huge stars, no big budget, no fanfare, no publicity, etc. What the film does have though is a believable, moving, well-acted story that leaves you feeling better about yourself (and the world) once you've finished watching it. Although I see this film as being enjoyable to anyone who views it, I think there are really only two demographics that will "get it" and truly appreciate the story for what it is - those between their LATE teens and EARLY thirties, and those over fifty. Younger than twenty, you probably won't appreciate or understand the hardships yet. Between thirty and fifty, you probably won't care about the hardships anymore.

The Sky Is Falling is the story of a 28-year-old aspiring writer that has everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) going wrong for her. Family problems, career problems, relationship problems, money problems, having to face successful peers at an upcoming 10 year high school reunion, etc. As is so often true in life, all the hardships come at once (you know, when it rains, it pours) and she feels she has hit rock bottom. Her quirky mother (played perfectly by Teri Garr) tells her that everything will be all right in the end, but Emily (the magnificent Dedee Pfeiffer) just has no reason to believe it. The film includes several (tongue-in-cheek) "daydream" sequences where Emily contemplates the best way to commit suicide and put herself out of her misery. Don't misinterpret this to mean that the film is dark or disturbing. On the contrary, the suicide contemplation sequences are very comedic (albeit dark comedy) in nature and are extremely well done.

I don't want to give away too much, but Emily's life is touched and forever changed (in more ways than one) by Mr. Finch (played beautifully by the late Bert Remsen). Because of Emily's talent, perseverance, and goodheartedness (and Mr. Finch's actions) it looks like Emily might just get her chance for a better life after all. The film has a bit of what some might call a "feel-good" ending, but not in the way that most Hollywood pictures of the genre do. There is loss. There is death. There is sadness and suffering. But the main character comes full circle and ends up with the possibility for a better life because of the losses. In other words, the protagonist LEARNS SOMETHING (about herself and the world). And to me, that "learning something" element is what's missing in most pictures today.

Also worth noting is the relationship this film has to one of the most beloved pictures of all time, It's a Wonderful Life (1946). The stories are quite similar in many ways. Both take place around the Christmas holiday. Both protagonists are intrinsically good people that have fallen on hard times, are contemplating suicide, and need the help of an outsider to see the true beauty of themselves and of their lives. The Sky Is Falling actually pays homage to (and features a scene from) It's a Wonderful Life. Emily and Mr. Finch sit together in the TV room of the hospital while It's a Wonderful Life is playing. The scene featured is where George Bailey (played by the late Jimmy Stewart) is thinking about jumping off of the bridge and committing suicide. A symbolically striking resemblance to Emily. If you've seen It's a Wonderful Life (who hasn't?), you know what Clarence the angel does next. Could Mr. Finch be Emily's Clarence? You'll just have to watch and find out for yourself.

A+ performances from a ton of Hollywood veterans (Teri Garr, Howard Hesseman, Bert Remsen, Lorraine Toussaint, etc.). Cute little cameos by some big names (Sean Astin, Chris Elliott). And an absolute top notch performance by Dedee Pfeiffer make this one a must-see. Now, some might feel compelled to credit Dedee Pfeiffer simply as being the sister of Michelle Pfeiffer. Don't be fooled! Dedee is twice as beautiful and ten times as talented. Why Michelle gets all the glory is beyond me, especially after seeing this film. If you're looking for a funny, romantic, believable, charming, and all-around enjoyable film, you could do no better than The Sky Is Falling.

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