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|Index||76 reviews in total|
I just saw this film, and got a chance to meet its very talented lead actor/director/co-writer. Peter Reigert is a very genuine man, what you see on the screen is really him, and he has a marvelous touch for comedy. The camera work was solid, and he seems to have had absolutely no trouble with self-directing, something which can be very tricky. This film is a wonderful comedy, with a great big heart. In the end you will laugh, and cry a little. You will enjoy it. It has a highly talented cast, and a marvelous script. The only reason that I can see for it having trouble finding a distributor is, as Mr. Reigert himself says, that Hollywood has no idea how to market this film. It is a character study with no big action pieces, and frankly they categorize it with Woody Allen films (which they also have no idea how to market). The trick is that this is art, in its purist sense. Because it is art, no one can tell you what to take away from it, or how to experience it (as Mr. Reigert pointed out when asked). Everyone has to go and see it for themselves to come away with the film's meaning and message, and not everyone will come away with the same one. I highly recommend this film to anyone interested in a good laugh. It really is a shame that no one is willing to distribute this film.
This is a gem of a movie -- from the basic story by Shapiro to the
stellar acting by everyone in the cast to Al Kooper's music and
This movie achieves what a lot of others have attempted but failed to do: get a message across about what's important in life and do it with a very humorous delivery.
The only reason I'm giving it less than 10 stars is that I think it would have benefited from a little more of the care a bigger budget (and therefore more time) might have allowed. Then again, a bigger budget might have added too much polish and stolen some of the film's humanity, which is central to its theme.
I'm recommending it to everyone I know.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's nice that Riegert went on the road, etc etc - but nice does not a
good film make. Isabella as the wife was completely absurd; Eli's
over-acting was horrid - screeching like some old crow, desperately
mugging for the camera. Hoffman's kid - ridiculously awful.
The father & mother wringing their hands over the daughter's lateness - simply not believably acted at all. There's more (a lot more) - but no point to continue.
What can I say? I *wanted* to love this thing, but it's just plain awful.
Maybe if Riegert makes a better film in the future, he'd have a better chance at distribution.
This film has lots of interesting premises and a great cast, which
should have, in my opinion, added up to a lot more entertaining movie.
It's greatest fault seems to be that it can't decide if it really wants
to be funny or if it wants to be heartwarming. Instead, it is only
occasionally amusing, and when it wanders into absurdity, which in a
funnier movie could work magic, it just seems to be content with a few
semi-philosophical half-baked platitudes. Overall, the story isn't that
credible or interesting.
The actors are all really good in their roles, so I'm assuming the biggest fault is the slightness of the story and/or the slow packing of the direction. Not a bad movie, just a waste of time and talent.
It is hard to tell just what the point of this film is. It seems it is
about an advertising agency and the people working in the agency. It is
also about the relationship of the star (Peter Reigert) with his father
(Eli Wallach) who is in a nursing home in Arizona. It also has bits and
pieces of other stories, the relationship of Reigert's daughter with
her boyfriend and other trivia.
My impression is that the writer wanted to make a movie, but did not have a story to keep the audience interested for an hour and a half so he seemed to try other ways to draw an audience by including such big names as Rita Moreno, Isabella Rosselini, Eli Wallach. He also made most of the principal characters Jewish, perhaps in hopes of drawing a bigger audience to a trivial film.
I saw this picture in San Francisco, a city with a large movie going audience and the theater was almost empty. Although I did hear one woman laugh, most of the sparse audience appeared to be bored with the film.
This film has good sincere acting with a great ensemble cast.
However, this film deserved better production values. The strained production values really hinder what are very bright and fresh performances from the actors. Isabella Rosselini is sublime and beautiful as always and Eric Bogosian's performance as a narcissistic yet caring rabbi is right on the money. Some of the scenes were out of focus, grainy and overexposed and got in the way of the performances. Peter Reigert's deserves credit for his performance in almost every scene and also working behind the camera as a first time director. Overall, very enjoyable once it found it's pace.
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