MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 921 this week

At First Sight (1999)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  15 January 1999 (USA)
5.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 10,085 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 103 user | 55 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A blind man has an operation to regain his sight at the urging of his girlfriend and must deal with the changes to his life.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: August

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for August 2014.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 13 Nov 2011
 
a list of 32 titles
created 20 Dec 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 24 Oct 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "At First Sight" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: At First Sight (1999)

At First Sight (1999) on IMDb 5.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of At First Sight.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A naive young woman comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city's biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly.

Director: David Frankel
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Adrian Grenier
Forrest Gump (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

Director: Mimi Leder
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Nelson is a man devoted to his advertising career in San Francisco. One day, while taking a driving test at the DMV, he meets Sara. She is very different from the other women in his life. ... See full summary »

Director: Pat O'Connor
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jason Isaacs
Hope Floats (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Birdee Calvert must choose between her morals and her heart after her husband divorces her and a charming young man, who her daughter disapproves of, comes back into her life.

Director: Forest Whitaker
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr., Gena Rowlands
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A British medical doctor fights a cholera outbreak in a small Chinese village, while also being trapped at home in a loveless marriage to an unfaithful wife.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Michael Caine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

At Pacific Palisades High, a poor Latino falls hard for a troubled girl from the affluent neighborhood.

Director: John Stockwell
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Jay Hernandez, Bruce Davison
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Romantic drama about an aging playboy who falls for a sweet, but terminally ill, young woman.

Director: Joan Chen
Stars: Richard Gere, Winona Ryder, Anthony LaPaglia
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A woman discovers a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach, and is determined to track down its author.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, Paul Newman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jennie Adamson
...
Duncan Allanbrook
...
...
...
Virgil's Father
...
Betsy Ernst
Margo Winkler ...
Nancy Bender
...
Singer
Brett Robbins ...
Ethan
...
Jack Falk (as Willie Carpenter)
Charles Winkler ...
Health Instructor
...
Caroline
Kelly Chapman ...
Susan (as Kelly Chapman Meyer)
Edit

Storyline

A driven Manhattan architect, Amy, relaxes at a resort and falls for the masseur, Virgil, blind since age 3 and assisted by his spinster sister. He helps Amy hear and sense the world, giving her new spirit and a burst of creativity. Over the sister's objections, Amy takes Virgil to New York for new, radical surgery. He regains his sight. He's disoriented and must learn to process these new images. Finding his place in a seeing world strains his relation with Amy; his absent father wants to connect with him now that he can see; then, retinal disease threatens to undo the surgery. Can love survive, will he find his new place and his old tranquillity, can Amy accommodate limits? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only Love Can Bring You To Your Senses. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes involving sexuality and nudity, and for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sight Unseen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£55,402 (UK) (30 April 1999)

Gross:

ESP 109,523,700 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Cast member Drena De Niro is the daughter of Robert De Niro, who also played a fictionalized patient of Oliver Sachs in Awakenings (1990). See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie Virgil and Amy walk away and Virgil is letting his new guide dog lead him. The guide dog walks straight past the curbside obstacle without hesitation. No working guide dog would have missed this obstacle, it is too inbred during their training. Missing an obstacle of this magnitude would have called for, at the very least, a firm word of caution if not a subtle leash correction. The guide dog would have also stopped to check for traffic as Virgil did not seem to be paying attention. See more »

Quotes

Virgil: Maybe I'm not meant to see.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the start of the closing credits: Inspired by Dr. Oliver Sacks' true account of the experiences of Shirl and Barbara Jennings They are now married and living in Atlanta, Georgia Barbara continues to sculpt and although Shirl never regained his vision, he now paints pictures of his brief adventure in sight See more »

Connections

Features Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Slapshot - The New York Rangers' Goal Theme
Written and Produced by Raymond Castoldi
Performed by Bad Apple
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I believed in their love. I cared for their love. I feared for their love.
1 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie. I adored it; I felt it was one of the more genuinely touching and real love stories that I had seen in a long, long time and even now, more than twenty-four hours since I saw it for the first, and I promise you, *not* last time, I am still haunted by its emotional power and how it drew me in with its passion. Inspired by a true story and starring a very real actor and a very real actress, "At First Sight" touched my heartstrings and yanked on them all the way through. It also contained a very humanistic touch apart from its romantic elements, one that I think everybody can appreciate in one way or another.

As the movie opens, Amy Benic (Mira Sorvino) an overworked architect is essentially booted out of her office and sent to the winter land countryside resort on a vacation by her co-workers. During her stay there, she befriends a blind therapist (Val Kilmer) with whom she begins a slowly-developing romantic bond. Despite his condition, they grow closer to each other and become passionately devoted, up to and past a surgery that they hope can restore his eyesight.

"At First Sight" is a fictionalized adaptation of Shirl and Barbara Jennings, a couple who passionately loved each other even though the former was completely blind. Their story was documented by Dr. Oliver Sacks. Adapted from his account by Steve Levitt and directed by Irwin Winkler, the movie becomes a powerfully dramatic love story that contains so much of that real-life passion from the people that inspired it.

It is easy to criticize "At First Sight" for being too conventional, too derivative of other Hollywood love stories. But I don't think this picture falls under those categories and those type of films, such as "Hope Floats." First of all, sometimes it's not about plot twists or breaking the mold. Sometimes, a movie can strike with just as much power (or more, as in this case) simply by utilizing those conventions and building upon them in a way that is fresh. And they do that here. The two central characters are very well-written, characterized as thinking, caring human beings who love and hunger for each other. A commendable move on the filmmakers' part was the casting. Instead of placing the typical romantic leads, who are more body than personality, they cast two very real performances. Gifted and good-looking as they are, Mr. Kilmer and Ms Sorvino, I've always felt, were very real. They aren't merely putting on a convincing act, they transition something very real into their performances and you can sense that. And as a defining example, I want to cite the scene in here that I usually gripe about: the sex scene. Whereas with most erotic scenes in movies, I tend to get the feeling that my time is being wasted, or that the director is losing faith in his own picture and using a cheap gimmick to stimulate my interest, I did not feel that here. There is a brief and very visceral erotic moment between Mr. Kilmer and Ms Sorvino - and I know people are going to start laughing at this point - and I did not get a negative reaction because this scene was not lustful. I wasn't thinking about the sex, I wasn't even thinking about Ms Sorvino's body. I was thinking about the passion and the love that was emanating from this scene. Here comes the one that I'm sure will get the biggest laugh yet.

I was not turned on; I was moved.

That's the core of what I loved this movie. Unlike so many of those contrived excuses of love stories that I see in so many movies, I *believed* in the love between these two characters. I was convinced they were two people who adored each other. I believed in their love, I cared for their love, I feared for their love. But what also makes the movie so good is the way the subject matter of blindness is treated. I imagine that for some, seeing or merely knowing about the subject matter of this movie can be a comforting reminder that lack of eyesight is not lack of humanity. For me, it was a reminder of just how thankful I am to not only have my eyesight, but my health. These two very authentic emotional elements stirred a great passion in me as I watched the film and kept me in play clear to the end.

Can I criticize anything in the movie? Well, yes, two short moments. One was a super-fast zoom upon Val Kilmer's eyes accompanied by a whooshing sound effect. The other was a jump cut montage of Ms Sorvino imitating emotions. These two scenes were a little out of place and seemed to be from other movies. But it's a two hour and nine minute movie and these two bits add up to, what, less than a minute? You do the math.

"At First Sight" is a wonderful movie with a strong emotional chord. Mr. Kilmer and Ms Sorvino are absolutely wonderful, as are the underrated Kelly McGillis as the jealous, troubled sister, Bruce Davison as the optimistic surgeon, Nathan Lane as the unorthodox and deliberately comical vision therapist, and Steven Weber as the lascivious fellow architect. It's an incredibly touching love story that I'm telling you, I cannot be satisfied with after just a first sight. I'm going to need at least two more before I could possibly even come close to being too familiar with this genuine little jewel of a motion picture.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
val kilmer... MDSR
Amy, am i the only one that found her so unlikeable? terestrife
Val seemed to dumb down the character, you think? Abe_Phroman
similar movies wherelovegoes
The End nicktji
Does Anyone One Else Just Watch... katyzone
Discuss At First Sight (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?