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Unconditional Love
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Reviews & Ratings for
Unconditional Love More at IMDbPro »

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Index 73 reviews in total 

38 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

An outrageous comedy with all the heart in the world!

10/10
Author: yossarian100 from usa
11 May 2004

You know, people who make comedies so often forget it's really ok to be outrageous. Well, not this time. Unconditional Love has it all. Barry Manilow and a dwarf in a movie with Cathy Bates as the romantic lead...and it works. Not only does it work, it works very very well. In fact, I think it's perfect. I laughed so hard I think I hurt myself yet the main characters were all so human, so honest, and so very real. But isn't that where great comedies come from? Don't characters need real feelings, real emotions, and the ability to feel real pain? Well, they do in this movie. Unconditional Love is a movie you shouldn't miss, especially if you need a seriously good laugh, or you're at all curious about seeing the psychotic dwarf in the red raincoat.

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34 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Delightful

10/10
Author: lena771
26 April 2004

I found this movie to be extremely delightful.I am biased I suppose.I happen to adore Kathy Bates.I found her singing an added pleasure.She has a very nice voice.

Ms Bates plays Grace Beasley.The film takes you from her doledrums married life in Chicago to England,the home of her recently murdered singing idol Victor Fox.There she meets his three surviving uppity sisters.She also discovers that Victor leaves behind a male lover,Dirk Simpson.

The story leads you on to some surprisingly comedic and heartwarming situations as Grace and Dirk develop a true fondness for each other,after an initial rather rude rejection,on his part.They return to Chicago where they team up with Grace's pint-sized,hilarious daughter-in-law,Maudie,to find the serial killer who murdered Victor.

Everyone in the picture did a fine job.Particularly enjoyed Julie Andrews,Lynn Redgrave and Barry Manilow.This movie was fun.It makes you cry.The music is absolutely charming.

Other posters here who found problems with any parts of this movie,just don't have a clue.

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26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A Pleasant Surprise

Author: Phillip Banks (horusbedhetys) from San Diego, CA
9 November 2004

This film is so many things: corny, touching, hilarious, weepy, maddening...well, you get it - so many things and a really pleasant surprise. I watched it to see Kathy Bates and I fell in love with her talent. Like the movie, she is also many things and shows the complexity of a relatively simple character type (as "D.S." put it - "an American frump"). Yes, she was very frumpy, but with a twist...she had real balls throughout the film and from the time her husband gives her the bad news she begins to show herself that she really didn't need him for validation; her strength shows with her first impulsive decision to go to England and then the fun begins. My favorite scenes are when the Fox sisters realize that they are sharing tea with a fan and, of course, Victor Fox's televised funeral. The end scene, while meandering and very maudlin, touched me and seemed the perfect end to an unexpected adventure. My favorite character was the daughter-in-law, Maudey. What a woman! I'll never see little people the same way again...she was very Chicago.

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26 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

So Weird but so very great!!!

10/10
Author: PhilauraJ from Hollywood, CA
1 December 2003

My husband and I both loved this film. At first my husband was skeptical and asked how many points he got for sitting through this one. But after a few key scenes he was totally sucked in and by the end he was convinced it was one of the best movies going. Kathleen Bates has never been so wonderfully loveable and the rest of the cast is just simply fantastic. Thank you for this beautiful film.

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

This might be my new favorite "comfort film".

Author: Elfpiper from Wisconsin
15 August 2004

I found this film by accident while shopping a sale of used DVDs at my local video rental store. I hadn't heard of it but Kathy Bates is always worth watching, so I didn't even look at the back of the package for the rest of the credits.

I got it home and was hooked from the beginning credits when the singer turns around and it is Jonathan Pryce. (I fell in lurrrrrrrve with his voice years ago in "Jumping Jack Flash, in which he IS just a voice for most of the film.) And even though he sings the most incredibly cheesy songs imaginable here, if there was a soundtrack I would buy it in an instant.

I enjoy movies which aren't easy to categorize. Here on IMDb it is listed as a Drama/Comedy/Musical/Thriller. That sums it up pretty well as far as I am concerned. If you need to have every little thing in a movie spelled out clearly and make perfect sense you will probably not enjoy this one. The whole movie has a slightly surrealistic feel and I loved the way it flows between reality and fantasy. It reminded me of Harry Sinclair's wonderful "The Price of Milk", but that wasn't a film for everybody, either.

Incidentally, no one so far seems to have mentioned the first credited screenwriter, Jocelyn Moorhouse. If you did like "Unconditional Love", you might want to see another film she wrote and directed called "Proof", with Hugo Weaving and Russell Crowe. It also was very strange/odd/beautiful/moving and hard to classify.

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Talk about a bizarre movie...

8/10
Author: thud-5 from San Jose, California
29 October 2003

But a great cast! Jonathan Pryce, Kathy Bates, Rupert Everett, Lynne Redgrave, Julie Andrews and Dan Aykroyd! And that's just the beginning.

I'm not totally sure that any description of the movie and plot are going to entice you to watch this one. Suffice it to say that it has something for practically everyone: death, singing, a sparkly suit, cell phones, a little person (nice looking woman, actually), a drawbridge (modern, not Medieval), a boombox, and a crossbow. Oh, and a psychotic. And Barry Manilow.

You will have to trust me when I say that 50% of you out there will hate this movie because of the lack of the Absurd Gene in your DNA makeup. It's not your fault; it's hereditary. The other 50% of you will probably want to change the channel after 20 minutes, but you HAVE TO KEEP WATCHING.

Even at that, at the end you may wonder why you watched... but keep in mind that absurdity thing. It should grow on you. It is a test.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Funny, sweet, unique

10/10
Author: valkyr from Arkansas, USA
4 August 2003

What a shame this movie was never released. (It is now playing on cable.) I tuned in based on my high regard for the stars and was rewarded by seeing a movie far better than the ones I've been paying to see in theatres recently. I like to be surprised. So often movies are marketed as "offbeat," but are in fact more of the same old recycled drivel. This movie is genuinely different, with the bonus of a heartwarming message. Jonathan Pryce sings like an angel. Even though he is required by the plot to sing some of the most mawkishly sentimental songs ever written, he does them so well one doesn't mind. Cathy Bates and Rupert Everett are well-cast and superb, but a newcomer in the role of Cathy Bates' daughter-in-law steals every scene she is in. Give this film a chance.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A Funny, Touching Movie (that's loaded with talent)!

Author: Stormy_Autumn from the Pacific Northwest
28 November 2005

Whether it is in drama or comedy, I enjoy Kathy Bates's acting. She always presents her character in a real way that isn't a carbon copy of her last role. And in this "particular movie" we get to say, "Man, what a voice that woman has!"

Kathy Bates is wonderfully funny in the role of Grace Beasley whose life is falling a part. Her husband has left her. Her favorite crooner, Victor Fox (Jonathan Pryce), has been murdered while in Grace's home town of Chicago, Illinois. The only moral support in her life comes from her daughter-in-law, Maudey Beasley (Meredith Eaton), who is a little person with a big, understanding heart. (Maudey is married to Grace's only son, Andrew.)

After Victor's death, Grace decides to go to England. She wants to attend his funeral. She desires to be of help to his family. Instead she learns that a young gay man, Dirk Simpson (Rupert Everett) is his family. And that Victor's "blood family" is trying to take everything Victor left to Dirk. (Victor's sisters are played by Lynn Redgrave and Stephanie Beacham.)

Dirk has been hurt by Victor's death and the treatment he has received from the family. So, needless to say, it takes a bit for Grace to gain Dirk's trust. Once she does, she talks him into going to Chicago to solve Victor's murder. The outcome of their hard work turns up surprises concerning Victor's death.

Then there's all that happens to move Grace towards independence, much to the dismay of husband, Max (Dan Aykroyd).

This film is worth your time!

Among the highlights of this movie are the roles played by Julie Andrews and Lynn Redgrave. What fun they added. AND getting to hear Grace (Kathy Bates) sing, along with a surprise accompanist.

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20 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Barry Manilow sing along

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
6 April 2005

"Unconditional Love" starts with great promise. As directed by P. J. Hogan, the film works great up until the last third of the movie, when it falls flat on its face. The screen play Mr. Hogan and Jocelyn Moorehouse wrote showed a myriad of possibilities that fizzle at the end. It appears the artistic team behind the movie had great hopes for it to play differently. The reality is this is a film that is looking in different directions in how to bring it to a resolution that ultimately fails. Don't get me wrong, the movie is tremendously appealing and will resonate with a lot of its viewing public.

Based on the strong cast, we decided to take a look. The tremendously talented Kathy Bates is the perfect choice to play Grace Beasley, the woman who finds at the beginning of the film that all is not well in her marriage. Ms. Bates is an excellent actress who deserved much better, even when her character is not helped by what the authors have her do in the film.

Rupert Everett is always dependable into delivering. His role, as the late Victor Fox's lover is well written, that is, until Dirk is lured into coming to Chicago to find Victor's murderer. It's bizarre and it defies all rules of logic. Dirk doesn't look capable of hurting a fly, let alone hunt down a killer with the help of Grace and her daughter-in-law, the incredible funny, Maudey.

As played by Meredith Eaton, this little woman, Maudey, is one of the best things in the film. She's is brash and tells it as she sees it. Peter Sarsgaard, one of the best actors working in films these days has nothing to do in the picture; he is totally wasted. Dan Aykroyd also has nothing to do. We see him at the beginning and at the end of the film and his Max doesn't make sense. He appears to want changes in his life and his marriage, only to come back to Grace without any explanation, all things forgiven.

The English actors are good. Lynn Redgrave has a better opportunity as the hysterical Nola. Jonathan Pryce is seen throughout the film as a ghost singing bland songs. Julie Andrews makes a funny contribution in a couple of priceless scenes.

Ultimately the television show hosted by Sally Jesse Raphael is a turn off and doesn't add anything to the movie. The best part is hearing Kathy Bates singing. What a beautiful voice she has! In fact, Ms. Bates is the best excuse for staying until the end.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable comedy

Author: filmguyCI from United States
3 August 2003

The film starts out promisingly. Grace Beasley (Kathy Bates) is told by her husband of thirty years (Dan Ackroyd) that he no longer wants to be married to her and needs to find excitement in his life. A few days later Grace's favorite singer, Victor Fox, is murdered by a serial killer. About to fall off the deep end, Grace decides to live life herself and impulsively travels to England for the funeral of Mr. Fox. There she meets Dirk Simpson (Rupert Everett), Mr. Fox's long time "valet," and the two form an unusual friendship that benefits them both.

P.J. Hogan, who directed such films as Muriel's Wedding and My Best Friend's Wedding, also wrote and directed this film. Like Muriel, Grace Beasley is an overweight under-appreciated woman who is scared to live life, but ultimately decides to make changes. Kathy Bates does a splendid job in making the audience feel for this character as we slowly watch the transformation. Performances are strong by the whole cast. I would recommend it alone for the hilarious performance by Grace's dwarf daughter in law who steals every scene she's in.

In the last half hour, Grace and Dirk, decide to avenge Victor's death and find the "Crossbow Killer." At this point the characters lose credibility and the film goes way over the top. Director P.J. Hogan seems to enjoy adding scenes in his films where the characters break into song. Remember the funny "Say a Little Prayer" scene at the restaurant in My Best Friend's Wedding? Here the idea is used three times. Twice in unnecessary cameos by Julie Andrews and once in a scene on the Sally Jesse Raphael show. These musical numbers are really not that funny or necessary and detract from the film.

Despite the flaws, "Unconditional Love" ultimately wins you over with its heart. I guarantee you'll leave this film in a better mood.

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