6.3/10
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8 user 1 critic

Coast to Coast (2003)

R | | Drama | TV Movie 4 April 2004
Barnaby and Maxine Pierce's son is getting married in California and they decide to drive across the country to attend. Along the way they reflect on their tattered relationship and the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Barnaby Pierce
...
Maxine Pierce
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Stacey Pierce
...
...
Hal Kressler
...
Gary Pereira
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Clifford Wordsworth
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Stanly Tarto
...
Benjamin Pierce
...
Nessle Carroway
Richard Fitzpatrick ...
Calvin Carroway
...
Randolph Carroway (as Owen Rotharmel)
...
Marsha Kapinski
...
Paula Hobday
Laura Catalano ...
Terri
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Storyline

Barnaby and Maxine Pierce's son is getting married in California and they decide to drive across the country to attend. Along the way they reflect on their tattered relationship and the events that transpired to create the estrangement. Written by rharlan58

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

City by city, mile by mile, love is rediscovered. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, and for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

4 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De Costa a Costa  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?

Goofs

While dancing at their son's wedding, Maxine mistakenly calls Barnaby (Richard Dreyfuss) "Dreyfuss". See more »

Quotes

Barnaby Pierce: I want to dispel one illusion in case you seriously have it: nobody suddenly sings like Pavarotti, not even Pavarotti
See more »

Connections

References An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Bittersweet
Written and Performed by Joe Lervold
Courtesy of Master Source
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User Reviews

A Talented Cast is Wasted
9 April 2004 | by (Twin Cities, Minnesota) – See all my reviews

It was inspired casting in the pairing of Richard Dreyfuss and Judy Davis as Barnaby and Maxine Pierce, a middle-aged married couple on a trek by car from the East to the West coasts. The ostensible purpose of their auto trip is to attend their son's wedding in Los Angeles. At the same time, the couple is contemplating a divorce and is still in recovery from the death of one of their children many years ago. The film reaches for over-the-top comedy in the couple's cross-country reunion with old friends and lovers while simultaneously expressing a painful undercurrent with the couple's long struggle to recover from their personal tragedy.

The film juggles the comedic and dramatic styles with uneven results. The best scenes are the comic escapades, such as the visit to Minneapolis where the parents greet their daughter (Selma Blair), who introduces them to her latest fiance (John Salley) and announces that she is carrying another man's child. When the banter is brisk and lively, Dreyfuss and Davis are in fine form, recalling Hepburn and Tracy in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

But when the mood turns downbeat, the actors flounder with dramatic material that does not ring true to their characters. For example, it made no sense when the couple visited Denver and Davis' character Maxine was reunited with her ex-lover. There was even the suggestion that Maxine might remarry the Denver cop (Fred Ward) whose character is not only married, but is frighteningly abrasive. It was implausible that someone with the intelligence of Maxine would find any appeal in an unpleasant character with a hair-trigger temper. It was puzzling as well that the two adult children of Barnaby and Maxine seemed wiser than their world-weary parents and were all-too-ready to provide grief therapy. In any family system, those two children would need to deal with the loss of their sibling, just like their parents.

The careful balancing of a comic style with a tragic undercurrent was achieved brilliantly in Edward Albee's play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", which deals a couple's presumed loss of a child while concurrently delivering the dark humor. "Coast to Coast" stretches, but falls substantially short of Albee's powerful style. In a single sequence in the L.A. portion of the film, Barnaby first insults his son's female boss in a hotel lobby; the boss subsequently forgives Barnaby unconditionally when she learns that he is the father of her employee; and, in the next scene, Barnaby is openly weeping in a restaurant, causing the other patrons to gawk at him. Are these scenes supposed to be funny or serious?

The emotional roller coaster ride stretches credibility due to the weak dialogue, which, in this film, resembles slapdash sitcom writing. And it was especially disappointing in the film medium that there was not more footage of the colorful locations of the cross-country trip (other than a recurring map of U.S.A. shown to the viewer), as Barnaby and Maxine forge their way across the country. There was never a dull moment on this coast-to-coast trip. But the ride was bumpy and uneven.


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