May-Alice Culhane was a successful soap opera star, but a car accident has left her bound to a wheelchair. She returns to her now-empty family home in the bayous of Louisiana which she had ... See full summary »
Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.
In 1966 New Jersey, Jill Rosen, a frustrated high schooler, is intrigued by an enigmatic new student known only as the Sheik. Sheik is an Italian whose primary interests are his car, Frank ... See full summary »
In an economically devastated Alaskan town, a fisherman with a troublesome past dates a woman whose young daughter does not approve of him. When he witnesses the murder of his shady brother, he, the woman and the kid run to the wilderness.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Professor Isaac Balter, en route to his wedding, stops over in San Francisco for one night and falls in love with another beautiful woman, Aurora. In his twenty-four hour wild ride, he ... See full summary »
Maria Grazia Cucinotta,
Real estate developers descend upon a sleepy coastal Florida community with the promise of big money and bigger changes. Torn between honoring family obligations and the lure of quick cash, the locals greet the outsiders with a wildly mixed reception. Marly Temple is eager to give in and sell the family business to start over. As caretaker of her father's motel and restaurant, she's grown resentful of missed opportunities. However, she finds a glimmer of hope in a tentative romance with a visiting landscape architect. Desiree Perry left town years ago to escape a scandal and make a name for herself as an actress. Reluctantly returning home, she finds her strong-willed mother unwilling to let go of the past. Written by
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
The restaurant that Reggie Perry and Desiree Stokes Perry stop at to get directions at is at an actual motel in Yulee, Florida. The beach store that is supposedly across the street is actually several miles away on Ameila Island. See more »
When the bulldozer is about to tear down the trees, there are tracks in the dirt from previous takes. See more »
I understand that people have different expectations of low-budget, arthouse movies. I also know that John Sayles has a sort of glow about him, that earthy, intellectual anti-hollywood vibe, a la Tim Robbins, the Coen brothers and Atom Egoyan, that makes him a darling with the critics from the get-go.
But this is not a good movie. I'm sorry, it just isn't.
It meanders. It has too many characters. Its tone is uneven, its point of view is muddled, the acting is all over the board, from naturalistic to over the top. It lingers for long moments with minor characters we don't care about and cuts away from tense scenes just when things are getting good.
It misses the mark.
The worst flaw in the movie is that the two closest things to a protagonist, Edie Falco's Marly and Angela Bassett's Desiree, are straight-jacketed in characters that have no drive. Marly is an apathetic drunk, steeped in her life's own inertia. Desiree is a woman trapped in her own repressed pain. When your two main characters' world-views can be summed up with the phrases "I don't care" and "I want to leave here," why should the audience give a rat's patootie?
I'll be plain: Sayles writes funny dialogue. He's very adept at crafting a scene. The problem is, these scenes don't go anywhere. There's no spine to the movie. No drive. The movie doesn't create rooting interest in any of the characters. In my opinion, he's also too preachy about big bad corporate America gobbling up the little guy.
If you want to see a quality "small" movie, see David Lynch's "Straight Story." Pass this one up.
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