With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
Cookie's Fortune unfolds over an eventful Easter weekend in the small town of Holly Springs, Mississippi. The town residents are peaceful, kind folk -- with the exception of Camille Dixon -- a pushy theatre director with an incredibly shy younger sister, Cora, whose estranged daughter Emma has just returned to town. On the heels of her latest play, Camille is shocked to discover that her Aunt Jewel Mae "Cookie" Orcutt has committed suicide. Terrified at the thought of how this will tarnish the family name, she eats the suicide note to make it look like a burglary. This set-up leads the police to one main suspect, Willis Richland, who also happens to be Cookie's best friend. Although the rest of the town is convinced Willis didn't commit the crime, an outside investigator isn't so sure. As Easter Sunday and opening night of the play arrive, the truth comes out, revealing more secrets than anyone could have possibly imagined. Written by
An excellent film; thoroughly enjoyable, sentimental, but wise.
I'll fess up, Altman ranks high with me and has for a long time. This is far from his best work -- but also far, far above your average bear, er, rather... average film. It has much to recommend; many fine performances, a complex storyline; it will request a little patience from you -- be so kind as to grant it. Patience lies at the heart of this film; not the high-jinks and rapid-fire action of most movies. Kindness gets lost, and many deeper human qualities, too -- when people or a culture push patience out of the way. Altman seems to know this, to celebrate patient people, sensible people. But there are plenty of good jokes, visual, verbal, plot-involved. Relax and laugh, let things develop. You might even laugh pretty hard -- and happily. I suppose this film could be called Capra-esque, and thus old-fashioned, even nostalgic -- not a good fit with the tumult of violence and dishonesty which characterized the media's portrayal of the nineties. Too bad. Rent the video; or buy the video and watch it with your kids and later with the grandkids. People complain about too much violence in the cinema and then ignore a film like this -- and many of these people are critics! Here's the full panoply of human life, young, middle-aged, and elderly, all interesting, all central to the story. What a fine thing!
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