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Frankie & Hazel
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Reviews & Ratings for
Frankie & Hazel (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly pleasant movie with good performances

Author: Katrina Anne Van Tylor
6 April 2004

My thoughts for Frankie & Hazel at first were not good. I really thought this film was going to be another piece of kid garbage since there were very few good kid flicks in 2000. I however was pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong tonight as I turned my TV on to watch Frankie & Hazel.

The movie is about Frankie (Francheska), a 12 year old ballerina. Frankie has done ballet all her life, but walking through the park she sees a sign announcing baseball tryouts. Encouraged by her activist best friend and neighbor, Hazel, Frankie decides to go out for the team. She has to do this on the sly because her grandmother, whose thinking is in the victorian era, feels Frankie should live, breathe, and eat ballet. Frankie lives with her grandmother because she lost her parents when she was two. Frankie's grandmother hasn't finished grieving for her daughter, who also was a ballerina, and demands ballet from Frankie because it's a way of closure for the severe emotional loss. The amusing subplot in this movie is the activist exploits of Hazel. Bothered by a library rarely open, filthy parks, and ignored by the town's mayor, Hazel does her homework and discovers that there's no age set to run for mayor. Hazel announces her run, and quickly draws a following. The scene not to be missed is the mayoral debate where she hands the middle aged mayor his hat, metaphorically speaking. Any mother can put this video on and know that their children will be inspired by Frankie and Hazel. This is where a heartfelt, sometimes serious and real life movie begins but sadly ends with the typical Hollywood ending.

The acting for this type of movie was great. The lead role played by Mischa Barton was right on target. I am really starting to enjoy her work. I thought Polio Water, her first movie, was decent although it was basically for 1950's lover. Her character Diane in that film was very likable, and so was her character in this film. Her transformation from ballerina to mayor seemed so natural, which was very nice to see. Ingrid Uribe was pretty good as Frankie's best friend. This was her second movie and her performance was pretty strong. I think she did a good job. Joan Plowright's character I did not care for. She was obviously just put into the film for comedic effect but I feel this did not work well.

Elisa Guest and Jeremy Bogart wrote the script for this film. They did a good job with taking a script about young caring girls and adding a lot of new scenes to this film. But like I said previously, they both seem to fall for that typical Hollywood ending. The script had a very real life feel to it and I can picture most of this actually occurring in real life. I can honestly relate to the feelings and emotions of the characters. This film attempted to do this on the most part but like I said above they threw Joan Plowright in this film to try to get a few chuckles. JoBeth Williams was also the director of this film; I think she did a good job directing especially since this is only her second film.

So I turned off the TV feeling good. The film put a smile on my face and I really felt I could relate to this film. It is a typical film for the most part, which in Hollywood does not really mean anything anymore. It did however take the normal script and add some new things to it to spice it up and make it seem more like a reality than fiction. This movie is not an Emmy winner or anything but it's a decent release that many should like. The critics once again panned this film, which does not surprise me. They always like the Independent films, which I normally always agree with them on but when it comes to mainstream Hollywood films they are usually wrong. So In conclusion, I liked this movie for the most part, it did have a few problems here and there but all in all I really enjoyed it. I went renting the movie not knowing what to expect. The film started and by the time Mischa Barton came into the movie I was hooked. This film was so weird. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time. I laughed several times in the film and the movie itself was a visual fest for the eyes. It's hard to describe the movie but it's like Fly Away Home, a ballerina girl, a kid running for president and some great background art all mixed up in a blender and you get Frankie & Hazel. The problem is it's special effects and realism (or lack of). That's the best way I can explain the movie and also this film is very unique. Trust me when I say this you will not see another movie like this one.

The acting in the film for what type of movie it was is good. Mischa Barton who played Frankie in the film, for once did not annoy me. I remember watching her in Pups over the summer and I hated her performance but in the film she fitted in nicely.

The movie as I said above is a fest for the eyes. The director and the art designers on this movie do a terrific job. I love the camera angles and all the backdrops and the unrealistic. The movie didn't have much of a story but its one of those movies where you just watch to enjoy and laugh. It's a fun film for many people. There were some jokes for the kids and a lot of adult jokes mixed into the mix as well. It was an enjoyable movie.

So in conclusion, I really liked the film. It put me in a good mood and I for one was not in a good mood when I went to see this film. I laughed quite a bit and I was amazed of how great the acting and story was. I know the critics hated this but it's not a film, which is going to be hailed by critics. If you want a good meaningful movie visit the Independent Theater but if you want a fun, silly, and above all weird movie then go see Frankie & Hazel. I would give this film a solid 7/10 and I will go see it again because I enjoyed it that much.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Baseball and ballet?

Author: Cipher-J from USA
15 January 2004

This is a very enjoyable "coming of age" film that the girls will love and the boys will loathe. Frankie and Hazel are girlfriends. Frankie has been studying ballet for nine years, standing in the shadow of her mother, who had been a prima ballerina before her untimely death. Since then, Frankie has been raised by her grandmother, who wants nothing but that she follow in her mother's footsteps. It's not that Frankie doesn't want to be a ballerina, but that she doesn't "just" want to be a ballerina. Indeed, the day comes when she starts thinking about boys, and that leads her to taking an interest in baseball. That is, she tries out for membership in a baseball team composed entirely of boys her age.

In contrast, Hazel is something of an outspoken feminist, who at the age of thirteen presumes to run against the mayor of their obviously small town. In fact, there are recorded cases of adolescents from small towns doing that, so it is at least believable. Also, there is no reason to deny that a girl interested in ballet couldn't also take an interest in baseball, unlikely though it may seem. Therefore, the story makes a convincing case for both of their interests. The reason why the "girls" will love it is because girls are represented seriously, unwilling to stand on the sidelines of life, and for just that reason, their ambitions tend to annoy the boys. Boys don't "want" girls to be competing with them on their turf because it adds too many other complications. Not much depth here, but a pleasant story.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A pretty good performance from a decent script.

7/10
Author: sth1979
16 August 2002

This film struck me as a project that had a lot of the right ingredients, but somewhere along the way they didn't quite come together. I don't know who made it, but it has a slightly Disney-esque feel. While parts of it are improbable (like when a pre-teen runs for a public office) and tend to prevent the story from being taken seriously, there is a healthy dose of normalcy (whatever that is) to keep things balanced and in perspective. The acting is alright. Strangely, the relationship between Frankie and her grandmother is convincing, but the relationship between Hazel and Frankie is a bit...off. It's interesting to see how she has to work hard to keep a balance between her best friend, her grandmother, and her two passions: ballet and baseball. Being a baseball player myself, it was quite painful to watch Frankie try to hold her own on a team of boys, but it does a good job of showing the struggle she faces. I read somewhere that she isn't really ballerina, but the editing in this film did a very good job of making her dancing look not only natural but beautiful. Overall, it was a good film about honesty and ambition, but its star Mischa Barton didn't quite achieve the level of realism we saw during her performances in "Lawn Dogs", "Lost and Delirious", and her small but shocking performance opposite Haley Joel Osment in "The 6th Sense."

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Corny but cute family flick

6/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
26 August 2001

"Frankie and Hazel" is a supersanitized perfect world family flick which tells of the antics of two best friend small town pubescent girls who support each other as they pursue radically different aspirations. Frankie is ballet student who wants to play boy's baseball while Hazel wants to run for mayor. Good family fun especially for families with girls.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Cute movie

8/10
Author: Dixie7520 (Dixie7520@aol.com) from U.S.A
27 March 2001

This is a great movie to see with your girlfriend. My friend and I both love dance and ran into this movie at the video store. We had to get it. With no violence and such a warming story its a great movie to relax to and just enjoy your night. I would recommend this movie to any family or just a bunch of girls looking for a cute movie.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Remember to give your children roots and wings...

10/10
Author: Spavatch from Gdansk, Poland
30 September 2000

An excellent family movie... gives a lot to think on... There's absolutely nothing wrong in this film. Everything is just perfect. The script is great - it's so... real... such things could happen in everyone's life. And don't forget about acting - it's just awesome! Just look at Frankie and You'll know what I thought about... This picture is a real can't-miss!!!

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great for children

10/10
Author: Kira (kcole92) from Chicago, Illinois
6 November 2003

I thought that it was a great film for kids ages 6-12. A little sappy, but the story is uplifting an fresh. It proves that the dreams of an adolescent can truly come true. I think that it's a great story for any kid who is feelings down, or feels as if there trying to juggle too many things among them. Very 'cute' film. Bravo.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Understanding the growing up years

10/10
Author: lora64 from Canada
5 November 2001

Nicely and intelligently played by the two young girls, Mischa Barton as Frankie, and Ingrid Uribe as Hazel, although the plot is rather a stretch of the imagination. Young Hazel running for mayor seems out of place, to be honest.

While the acting is well done by all concerned the movie tends to lack a genuine atmosphere of drama. Perhaps we've grown to expect gritty reality in movies, rather like comparing Pollyanna to How Green Was My Valley! Never mind, each of them are good in their own way.

I do admire Joan Plowright even if her role is somewhat subdued here. Middle of the road entertainment well suited for younger viewers, and how nice at times to be exposed to fine classical music which is almost a rarity!

I find this movie to be a welcomed change as it reflects quieter, thoughtful values for the growing up years, and no violence thank goodness. A warm family film to enjoy.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

first comment

9/10
Author: rampart-2 from Vancouver, Canada
28 May 2000

A great storyline with a message. Joan Plowright is superb as "Phoebe", Mike Kopsa is hilarious as "coach" and Richard de Klerk plays the role of "Carmine" superbly. Mischa Barton as "Frankie" puts in a good performance and Ingrid as "Hazel" plays her first lead extremely well. This film is superbly directed by Jo-Beth Williams. The editing is first rate.

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Boring children's fantasy

1/10
Author: Edward Lorusso (Dr. Ed)
23 October 2000

Boring children's fantasy that gives Joan Plowright star billing but little to do. Sappy kids pursue their dreams. Frankie wants to be a ballerina and a baseball player (yuk) while best-friend Hazel runs for mayor---she's 13! Totally pedestrian in every way, plus the added disadvantage of syrupy performances by the girls as well as the baseball boys. Certainly a lesser effort for Showtime---no limits?

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