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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

You Can Thank Me Later... But Watch This Today

10/10
Author: ItsMeWil
25 August 2000

This film combines the realistic and the surreal into a delicious, yet quite believable family drama, with just enough sharp humor to satisfy your funny bone. Ellen Burstyn, always fantastic, is smashing as the mother hen of the brood, with very convincing performances by Amanda Plummer as her confused Bohemian daughter, Mary McDonnell as Burstyn's daughter-in-law, and the wonderful Genevieve Bujold as Joselle, the mysterious nun. The film is set in Montreal and nearly all the scenes take place either in a hospital room as the Cooperberg family awaits results from the patriarch's surgery, or in visits to the family's various therapists. A fabulous psychological comedy and superb performances by all.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

an engaging and under-appreciated film

8/10
Author: DrCarol
30 March 2000

"You Can Thank Me Later" is not an easy film to describe. Very little actually happens--a mother and her adult children gather in a hospital room to await the outcome of their father's operation, interact with each other, step momentarily into their own private lives, and return to the hospital room--all interspersed with black-and-white flashbacks of the characters' visits to their respective therapists. (The mother, played all too convincingly by Ellen Burstyn, is the exception: she views herself as normal when she is in fact the chief cause of her children's varied neuroses.) What makes the film worth watching is not the plot but the interplay between the characters--the lecherous older brother, Edward (Mark Blum), the gentle and indecisive younger brother, Eli (Ted Levine), and their pathetic waif of a sister, Susan (Amanda Plummer). It's difficult to find much sympathy for the smarmy and arrogant Edward, but decent, patient Eli clearly deserves better than he has received from either fate or his family. Ted Levine, who recently starred as the intense and passionate Starbuck in USA Network's "Moby Dick," shows an entirely different side of himself here, conveying veiled emotions through subtle changes of expression and an uncanny sense of timing that makes even the simple line "Burger King" memorable. There are elements of mystery as well, mostly provided by Genevieve Bujold as the father's former mistress disguised as a nun.

"You Can Thank Me Later" is not for viewers who crave action, though there's a surprising amount of tastefully filmed sex. But thoughtful viewers with a taste for character-driven scripts will appreciate the light irony and the fine acting in this under-appreciated Canadian film.

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