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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.
Like the reviewer before me, I caught this treasure of a film on the WE
channel. As a twenty something writer that has a knack for questioning her
life, her ability and her relationships, I related to Dedee Pfeiffer's
character so much that I found myself crying numerous times throughout the
film. And I've only cried through maybe six films in my entire
It should be noted that some viewers just won't "get it", as mentioned before. However, if you've found yourself in that state of life where nothing you've done seems comparable to those around you and you can't seem to get a grip on the fact that it matters more what you think than others around you, not only is this film for you - it's a must see of the highest order.
Emily (Dedee Pfeiffer) is a struggling writer who feels she has finally reached the end of her rope. She has all the textbook symptoms: The boyfriend that is even more confused that she is, the mother who assures her that everything will be alright even though the walls seem to be crashing in around her and, on top of it all, she just can't seem to convince herself, nor anyone else, that she is a talented writer.
What we get instead of the "oh so familiar" romantic comedy is a moral dilemma of the highest order. If you died tomorrow, would you be happy with the life you have lived? As many found them asking themselves after 911, Emily must answer this question by the end of the movie as she all the while contemplates ending it all herself.
The performances in this jewel are top notch - Teri Garr as the eccentric mother, Howard Hesseman as the absent father and Eric Close as the confused, musician boyfriend.
It's absolutely necessary to see this film. Even if you come away with something not so grand as some of the other reviewers, you will at least have given yourself the chance to come away with something that might just change your life.
I must say I was captivated by Dedee Pfeiffer's self effacing performance as the young girl who foolishly thinks her life is over at 28. It was quite moving, and all the quirky characters and incidents were a nice comedic counterpoint. The film is very "chick" - but I (a middle aged guy) loved it. It was extremely well produced, and the soundtrack I'd like to buy. Pleasant, adorable, touching, sweet, and ultimately very "feel good" - yes, it has a great affinity to "It's A Wonderful Life", down to the Christmas season time frame. And what a nice supporting cast of wonderful actors. Indeed, underrated - both the film, and the very capable Ms. Pfeiffer. What an expressive face she has. At first I swore it was Cameron Diaz, but I knew it wasn't. Very much recommended to the late teen, early 20s set especially.
Howard Hesseman as Yogi Cook is the only reason to watch this self-important piece of fluff. Hesseman has been a leading counter-culture figure since the late 1960s. He was a member of the improv group "the Committee" for 10 years in the sixties and seventies. What he brings to this film is indescribable. Absolutely indescribable. One shudders to think what The Sky Is Falling would have been without this wise old man's presence. One thing is certain: It would not be worth watching. Heck, even with Hesseman it is barely worth watching. I'm not sure who their audience was. Nonetheless, I award this one a rating of seven out of ten.
Wow I loved everything about this movie. Great acting, beautiful story, funny, sad, very realistic and has a strong moral message. Why haven't I seen Dedee Pfeiffer in more movies. She's a really really great actress and of course Teri Garr is always perfect in each role. Everybody should see this movie it makes you a better person. It also makes you think about that maybe what you consider bad luck is just a state of mind. In this movie the father of the main character is a photographer. He gives his daughter who's a writer a photograph called writer's block. The reason i mention this is because it's such a great photograph. If anyone knows the artist's name, please share. Anyway this is the best movie i'v seen in a long time
I liked this film very much. Dedee Pfeiffer is really touching. Her simple approach to the performance of her character is really moving, though. I couldn't believe, as I was watching the film, that it was so fulfilling to me personally to be part of it all. Very conveying.
I am a male in the 18-35 age group. I saw this film at a festival and was blown away. It could be viewed as a Chick Flick ... but it is not!! This is a great all around film that should be on everyone's watch list. You will not be disappointed by this one.
Luckily, I ran across this movie on satellite television about a month ago, and I have been searching the web for a place to buy my own copy of the film ever since. I managed to see the movie two additional times, on satellite, which has only reaffirmed my original opinion about the film. The combination of comedy with the drama of Emily's struggles with family, friends, and life was well acted and thought provoking, and, in my case, brought tears to my eyes. I rate this a must see for all my friends.
I hate movies where I'm supposed to feel one way about a particular
character. . . and I feel the exact opposite.
It was pretty clear to me that I was supposed to empathize and root for Emily. However, as the movie progressed, it became equally clear to me that while I felt sorry for her a number of times, I did not like her. And in fact, more often not, I wanted to strangle her.
My sympathy was almost entirely for her boyfriend Mike (played beautifully by Eric Close). That surprised me. I had read the other reviews, and figured I'd at least to bop Mike upside the head.
Not this time (well, aside from the groveling). I wish I had liked Emily, but I didn't. And unfortunately, I found myself fast-forwarding through most of her scenes, to the scenes which featured Mike.
Personally, I would have found a movie about a struggling young musician, trying to balance the demands of his own dreams with the demands of his insecure girlfriend, a lot more interesting. After viewing 'The Sky is Falling,' I have no doubt that Eric Close has the ability to carry such a film.
Good movie, you could totally identify with the character feeling left out and like a failure when she can't get a book deal, all her friends are either getting married, having a baby, or rising up the corporate ladder, and her boyfriend(hottie Eric Close) won't commit. Have a box of kleenex ready.
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