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Breaking Away (1979)
I went to see this movie when it first came out. We had decided to go to a double feature of two movies that we had never heard of, knowing that in that day and age, a double feature meant that at least one, if not both movies, had to be pretty awful. The first film was Starting Over with Burt Reynolds, and it was fairly good. So my friends were sure that the other would have to be terrible, but we had nothing better to do, so I convinced them to stay. Before three lines of dialogue I was absolutely hooked. I have seen it at least twenty times and the witty dialogue and rapport of the characters gets me every time. The music accents the film beautifully. The cinematography is gorgeous. But the story is what really matters. Four guys finding there way in a place where they feel little hope for the future, one a dreamer whose dreams are crushed, but he finds the spirit to pick up and start dreaming again. Delightful all the way around.
All the Little Animals (1998)
For a movie to have such fine actors and be so bad is a pity. I looked forward to seeing Christian Bale and John Hurt in a film together, but wondered if I should have bothered within the first five minutes of the movie, and by the end (especially the last brutal twenty minutes) I was dismayed with myself that I had stayed.
Simon Birch (1998)
Check out The Mighty if Simon Birch interests you.
Simon Birch is a good film. Well acted with engaging characters, based on the book A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving. If you are interested in this film you must see The Mighty, based on the book Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick because it is superb. You might also consider reading the book and its sequel Max the Mighty.