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11 reviews in total 
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Tadpole (2000)
This may be a movie that you will enjoy, 7 February 2003

If growing up, you didn't care for the contemporary culture around you, and you preferred the company of adults or those older than you, and you focused on some of the more serious aspects of life--or if you didn't do any of those things, but now wish that you had been that sort of person--then this is the movie for you. If you can't relate to that, then you won't like this movie.

After watching two just-released movie with big-name stars, in which the adult characters couldn't express themselves without using four-letter words and weren't able to deal with their lives in a mature, competent manner, I was ready to swear-off contemporary movies and look for David Niven and Cary Grant. Thank goodness, I gave Tadpole a try.

Oscar, known as Tadpole when he was younger, is a fifteen-year-old with a forty-year-old approach to life. He is still a fifteen-year-old in many respects, and the movie does a great job of balancing that fact with his intellectual and mature mentality. Although some who have seen the movie consider Oscar's brief encounter with an older woman a form of child abuse, there was nothing in Oscar's character to make him a victim. Fifteen was just his chronological age. If you want a movie in which the main character can express himself without swearing, likes Voltaire, has deep feelings involving unattainable love, and deals successfully with it in the end, this may be a movie that you will enjoy.

Not a Comedy, 5 May 2002

The video store where I rented this film had it shelved in the comedy section, and the box cover called Sobieski and Brooks the "new odd couple." I found this to be very misleading. When I think of Felix and Oscar, the original odd couple, I think of a very humorous film. This film, while it may have had some humor in it, was a very serious film which ended up dealing very seriously about death.

This is a good movie about the power of love, and if you are looking for a drama, I can recommend this film. However, if you are looking for a comedy, this is not the film for you.

Avanti! (1972)
8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
A Disappointment, 18 August 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning: A possible spoiler about the ending in my comments.

I like Billy Wilder movies and Jack Lemmon comedies, but this film was not the romantic comedy I had hoped for. I was looking for a movie with characters that I could like and an ending which made me feel good. This was not such a movie. To begin with, Lemmon's character was positively unlikable for most of the movie. Also, the premise of the movie was not very nice if one thinks about it: both he and his father cheated on their wives with no reason given except that they wanted to. This movie would have been much more enjoyable if the premise had involved men who were single, divorced, or widowed: available for a true love affair, not a yearly tryst. Who wants to see lovers with no real future? Not I. Another thing, Mills obsesses about being overweight throughout the film. Please, spare me. Mills is the best thing in this film. She's very pleasant to look at, and her character is nice. Wilder's directing was off in this movie. All of the scenes in "The Apartment" rang true. Not so in this movie. Some were overdone and some were just off. One can try to like this movie, but really it's a disappointment.

A Good, Mature, Implausible Movie, 18 January 2001

Tired of teenagers and twenty-somethings? Here's a movie with mature characters and good dialogue. After his wife is killed in an airplane crash, Harrison Ford discovers that she was having an affair with Kristin Scott Thomas's husband, who was also killed in the same plane crash. The movie consists of the manner in which the two remaining spouses deal with each other and handle the discovery of the deception in their marriages. The script moves right along and is well done. How you will feel about the ending depends upon whether you are a romantic or a realist.

Here's what makes the movie implausible: At the beginning of the movie, Ford's wife tells him that she is flying on that plane to that destination--supposedly on business. Why, then, in the world would she go to the trouble of creating a false identity for her ticket and fly as the other man's wife? I think that the script writers couldn't think of any other way that Ford could find out about the affair. It's a pity, because good mature movies are rare these days, and they should make sense.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A Real Disappointment, 8 January 2001

Warning: My comments tell the fate of one of the characters. Stop reading right now if you don't want to know.

Right up front I want to say that when I watch a comedy I want to laugh and feel good. If there's any violence in the movie, it has to be of a non-serious nature. I watched this movie because it was billed as a comedy and I like Tom Hanks. I really liked his character in this movie, and I did laugh at times, BUT--and this was a really big downer for me--there were several very realistic murders in the movie, and what's worse the dog gets killed in the end. Also, much of the humor in the movie was of the dog destroying property to the extent that it really wasn't funny.

Too much violence, too much destruction, too much sorrow--not a comedy for me.

Ariel (1988)
5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Likable, if you can take the bleakness, 9 October 1999

This is the story of an out-of-work Finnish miner who encounters a series of misfortunes in life after the mine closes. Finland looks awfully bleak in this movie, as does life in Finland, as lived by our hero. Still, I liked the movie. Why? Well, I liked his woman, and I liked her son. I liked his sidekick. And I liked him, although I really wish that he had been neater in appearance. And what I really liked was the warm feeling that I got when I knew that all was going to be well, and the soundtrack played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung in Finnish. Now, that's an ending.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
One of my top ten favorite films, 22 September 1999

This gem of a film is a quiet little story with nothing tremendously heroic in it, except that it's the story of a good man dealing with a less-than-perfect world and finding the way to be true to himself. The movie speaks to all who contemplate the inner heroics involved in dealing with the humdrum--and somewhat lonely--life of an average man. I loved Jack Lemmon's character as much as any character I've encountered in movies. In thinking about him, I am reminded of Ernest Borgnine's character in the movie "Marty," another good man dealing with a less than desirable life. Shirley MacLaine is excellent in this movie as the vulnerable young woman dealing with a secret life.

Lifeguard (1976/I)
15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A Movie with Depth, About an Alternative Lifestyle, 13 September 1999

This is the movie to see when you want to fantasize about an alternative to the 9 to 5 lifestyle. It's not your typical beach party movie, but has real depth, as lifeguard Sam Elliott tries to decide what to do with his life, when he is forced to examine it after attending his high school reunion. I liked Sam's character, even with all of his imperfections, and I felt good about his choice. A bonus in the movie is getting to see Kathleen Quinlan as a teenager. She later went on to play a great role in the marvelous romantic movie "The Promise."

10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
One of the Great Romantic Movies of All Time, 12 September 1999

If you are looking for an emotionally-moving movie about love and commitment, this is one you should consider seeing. Kathleen Quinlan and Stephen Collins are absolutely great in their roles. And the story, which is about commitment, deception, and misunderstanding, is excellent. When Stephen Collins says to Kathleen Quinlan, "I made a promise," you'll know why I consider this one of the great romantic movies of all time. It's right up there with "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail," and "A Letter to Three Wives."

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Masterpiece About Marriage and Relationships, 12 September 1999

This movie is actually three stories intertwined as one. Addie Ross, the town beauty, threatens three marriages. As the stories of the marriages are told, the question is which one of the marriages is about to be broken? The story of Lora Mae and Porter Hollingsway--one of the marriages--is one of the great relationship stories in film. Lora Mae's character and her dialogue with Porter represent some of the finest writing in movies. The movie, with all three stories, is a masterpiece, but it's Lora Mae and Porter who will remain in your mind.

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