A young woman in Paris is about to divorce her husband when she discovers... he's dead; and all their money is gone. She meets a mysterious man, who tells her that the money was really his,... See full summary »
A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
A big city cop from LA moves to a small town police force and immediately finds himself investigating a murder. Using theories rejected by his colleagues, the cop, John Berlin, meets a ... See full summary »
Michael returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.
Helen is the young girlfriend of good-looking Jackson Baring. When Helen gets pregnant and marries Jackson, they decide to move to his hometown, Kilronan, and have a baby there. But his ... See full summary »
Dexter Cornell, an English Professor becomes embroiled in a series of murders involving people around him. Dexter has good reason to want to find the murderer but hasn't much time. He finds... See full summary »
A young woman in Paris is about to divorce her husband when she discovers... he's dead; and all their money is gone. She meets a mysterious man, who tells her that the money was really his, and he wants it back, seemingly convinced that she's hiding the cash. Meanwhile, more people end up dead... Written by
There's a double-barreled New Wave homage in one scene, where the Widow Hippolyte character is seen loading a shop van with advertising on the side for "Les parapluies de Cousin Jacques," with a street address in Cherbourg. The shop information refers to director Jacques Demy, playing on the title of "Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg);" the actress loading the van is Agnès Varda, Demy's widow. See more »
When in the restaurant, Regina and "Alex" kiss, her head is tilted to her right and his to his right, a split second later, her head is tilted to her left and his to his left, they did not have enough time to change. See more »
All over the map -- it doesn't know what it wants to be
At a recent Q & A session, director Jonathan Demme said he had a difficult time finding the right tone the film. Having seen the picture, I can tell you -- he still hasn't found it.
The movie, a remake of the 1963 Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn classic Charade, may take place mostly in Paris, but it's really all over the map. It doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it a comedy? Is it a romance? Is it a thriller? For a time it tries to be all of the above -- and fails at each one.
Demme, speaking to an audience in Philadelphia following an advance screening, said the movie could have gone in vastly different directions in the editing room. For example, another version could have been much funnier. I don't doubt it. There are some good elements in place.
Mark Wahlberg, stepping into the Cary Grant role, is surprisingly debonair. This role officially puts him light-years away from his early '90s white-rapper persona. Don't get me wrong, he's still no Cary Grant -- but watching him in this film, you can easily see him as an American James Bond.
Following in Audrey Hepburn's heels is the to-die-for Thandie Newton. Combining beauty, sophistication, elegance and vulnerability, Newton more than succeeds in bringing a Hepburn-like quality to her character. She also gets boatloads more screen time than Wahlberg, which isn't a bad thing considering she's the best thing in the movie.
If only the story didn't fall apart in the second act, as all tension and suspense evaporates. Things come back together in the third act, but it's too late.
The movie also exceeds its quota of cliches. For instance, how many times have you seen foreigners in movies begin conversations in another language -- only to switch into perfect English after a couple of sentences? Well, in this movie, get ready to see it again... and again.
Then there's the car accident scene -- we hear squealing brakes and crunching metal off-screen, then Demme actually gives us a shot of a hub cap rolling across the street! The movie gives us no indication these bits are meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
There is one terrific foot chase that Demme admits is inspired by Run Lola Run. The scene has energy, suspense, humor and fun -- all things the rest of the movie tries, but fails to achieve.
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