Rhapsody in Bloom (TV Movie 1998) Poster

(1998 TV Movie)

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Excellent movie, maybe P.A. Miller's best
S. Felton16 February 2001
I've been a fan of Penelope Ann Miller's for some time, since 1992, when I was on a boat in Asia and I saw "Kindergarten Cop," totally by accident. Quite a story how I actually saw the movie, but since then I have watched her be in some good movies and some not-so-good movies. As for the latter, it's not her acting or the acting in the movies, it'd just that they are not good movies, and it saddens me because I have always wanted to see her shine!

And now, in 2001, I have finally seen the movie where she shines, really shines. It might be her best movie ever. I am very proud of her and am so glad that she won an award for it.

"Rhapsody In Bloom" is about a widower, Mitch Bloom, (Ron Silver) whose sister Lila (PAM) has lived with and raised his three children. The movie begins 5 years after Bloom was widowed. The point of conflict is that Mitch has met a woman he wants to marry, and all sorts of problems arise, because she is too meticulous, and the children are also very picky, and do not want a new mom. But Lila now has to examine her future. She has forsaken her passion as a painter and has no men in her life. Things seem very bleak for her if for no other reason that she has no one to support her, since her relationship with her brother is also tenuous.

One night, after a very bad date, she fortuitously (of course) happens to run into a repair man (Jack) who fixed the family's sprinkler system, played very well by Craig Sheffer. They eventually get involved, but it is done w/o haste, carefully, with ups and downs, but in the end, as with the movie itself, everything works out happily, not completely happily, but we are uplifted because life rarely turns out that way anyway, and it probably shouldn't given the differences among people in relationships.

One side note - the relationship between Lila and Jack is helped by their shared love of 40's music, and Jack actually plays a trumpet in a band. I once read an article about about Ms. Miller, written long before this movie came out, in which she said that she really loves this era of US history, the music, fashion, etc.!

This is truly a wonderful, touching movie, no violence, all in good taste - what a shame it was never shown in the theaters. I am going to recommend the movie to everyone I know who likes movies, and I recommend it to the reader of this review very highly!
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Love Affair
bethannstar8 July 2000
I absolutely love this movie, it's been a love affair with me ever since I saw it. The characters are so real and it touches every emotion out there. It's a sweet story, beautifully filmed and I love the reminiscent 40s style. Craig Saavedra created a beautiful film and I am so glad I got it on tape!
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A Sweet, Sensitive Look at a Family
Ben Burgraff (cariart)6 December 2000
Rhapsody in Bloom is a little treasure, an indie film about a family in transition, which doesn't use hysterical confrontations to tell it's message, but instead relies on character, and the fundamental 'goodness' of the protagonists, to move the story along to a very satisfying resolution.

Lilah Bloom (the always wonderful Penelope Ann Miller) was a struggling painter, when her sister-in-law died, leaving three young children in the care of her emotionally distraught brother, Mitch (Ron Silver, playing against his usual 'movie heavy' typecasting). Abandoning her dreams, Lilah moved in with the family, providing a foundation of stability and love, and becoming the 'mother' figure to the children.

The film begins after five years have passed. Lilah still sketches and paints for fun, but has settled into a happy family life, encouraging the children, keeping the large house running, and compassionately dealing with Mitch's aloofness. Mitch has a surprise for her, though; he's met a woman who has stirred his heart, and that he is considering marrying!

Debra Loomis (Caroline Goodall) is a high-strung organization freak who impresses neither Lilah or the children, but Mitch gives in to her every whim, the chief one being 'Lilah must leave'.

Facing an uncertain world and future, Lilah stumbles at first, but then connects with a charming trumpet-playing handyman (a shy and believable Craig Sheffer), and gets a job as an artist's assistant. A whole new life is opening up to her...if Mitch and the children will truly let her have her freedom!

The film doesn't offer easy answers to the problems the characters face, but attempts to honestly show the repercussions that choices can create! Special praise should be given to the Bloom 'children' (Miles Marsico, Michael Shulman, and Jamie Renée Smith), who are sincere and very likable!

The true 'star' of this film is, however, Ms. Miller's Lilah, and she is a marvel, radiating sweetness, compassion, and toughness, as the need arises! If for no other reason, this would be a film worth seeing just to observe how she copes with a world turned upside-down!

This is a WONDERFUL flick!
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Very low budget film, Penelope Ann Miller is the reason to see this movie.
TxMike26 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS - Just another "nice" story with adequate acting makes this a "7" movie. I suppose the title makes sense. Rhapsody is "a highly emotional utterance : effusively rapturous or extravagant discourse", and in sum I suppose that is what happened between her and her brother played by Ron Silver. With only 3 professional reviews, this one must have had little or no theatrical run. Still, it is a worthwhile film.

The story is Lilah's (Miller). Her brother's wife died when the 3 children were very young, and she stayed with them and in effect became their mother, a very good one at that. Probably a perfect mother. But in doing so she put her own life, and her painting, on hold. The development of the story allows her to finally break out, get her own place, and begin her own fullfilment.

Her brother brings home a girl, and quickly Lilah finds out they plan to marry. Conveniently, the woman is a bit "uptight", an "organizer" and in general a burr in the smooth running of the family. It probably would have been a better movie of the prospective bride had been a perfect mother too, and Lilah's being forced out would have been a more moving story. The woman being somewhat of a bitch made it an easier story to tell.

Penelope Ann Miller is a fine, and I think underrated, actress. She is also quite beautiful and fun to watch in any film.
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Cute and engaging. Better than average for an indie.
OrinL24 December 1998
Penelope Ann Miller stars with Ron Silver and Craig Sheffer in this beautifully crafted independent feature. Set in small upper middle class neighborhood, this is the tale of Lila Bloom (Penelope Ann Miller) and her brother Mitch Bloom (Ron Silver) and Mitch's three kids. Lila takes care of mitch's kids after Mitch's wife, who was also Lila's best friend. Lila has committed herself to the kids foresaking her passion as a painter and protecting herself from any personal relationship with a boyfriend. When Mitch announces his engagement, Lila is forced to reconsider her reality. In comes Jack (Craig Sheffer) to save Lila from her deafening loneliness. This is an engaging tale with some truly fine performances. Penelope Ann Miller was presented with a specially created award for Best Actress for Rhapsody in Bloom at the Hollywood (Ca.) Film Festival early in 1998. The writing is solid and the plot progresses smoothly. More could have been made out of the tension between Mitch's fiance and Lila, but overall, this is really a fine film.
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George Parker18 May 2003
In "Rhapsody in Bloom", a widower's (Silver) sister-in-law (Miller) tends to his children for years only to find the family ties interfering with establishing her own independent identity and life. A light hearted, easy going, romantic comedy which is a little ragged around the edges, "R in B" deals with matters of family, kids, an interloping fiancee, love in bloom, etc. with marginal credibility. A par cable watch for the couch potato in the mood for a no-brainer romcom with kids. (C)
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Pedestrian at Best
SrCharls14 August 1999
This movie was predictable from beginning to end. My wife and I had fun only because guessed every scene before it happened. I'll grant that Penelope Ann Miller was good but was it necessary to accentuate her cleavage to the maximum extent possible?
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