Murphy's Romance (1985)
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Sally Field with the ink barely dry on her divorce from Brian Kerwin has moved to a small Texas town where she's now acquired a ranch which could use a lot of improvement. She's got her son Corey Haim in tow and they aim to start anew.
The first and best friend they make in town is 60 year old James Garner, the local druggist. He's part of a disappearing breed in that he owns his own pharmacy. Given the way things are 23 years after Murphy's Romance, Garner's store if it still is operating is probably part of chain now, even in small town America.
A steady reliable guy like Garner is all any girl could wish for, but ambling back into the picture is Kerwin who swears on a stack of Bibles he's a changed man. Why he's even a born again Christian.
The man knows how to ring her bell, but that's about all he's good for. In fact he furnishes his own proof before the film ends.
James Garner got his only Oscar nomination and I remember how much I wanted him to win that night watching the Oscars. It would have been great, but William Hurt won for Kiss of the Spider Woman. Murphy's Romance got one other nomination for cinematography, but it lost to the year's Best Picture, Out of Africa.
Murphy's Romance is a tender and touching story about a couple of mature people, one a bit more mature than the other finding true love. As Garner says this is his last love and Field responds this is her first. It's a film for romantics of any age.
Also, there is a gentle, mature humor in this movie. It will bring a smile to your face without the gross physical comedy or profanity so prevalent in modern movies.
I have to admit that I am a romantic at heart, and this movie certainly hit home. If you like a film with a touch of romance, humor, and good performances by the lead actors, this is a movie you should add to you DVD collection.
Garner is at his best as an understatedly charming small-town pharmacist who becomes entangled in the life of a fiercely independent single mother with a deadbeat ex-husband. Field hits all the right notes with her character, but I can't tell if she's stepping back, or she just doesn't know how to play against Garner's lackadaisical style. Brian Kerwin gives his best screen performance as her ex, and sure, he plays a deadbeat, but he just oozes sex appeal.
Overall, though, this is a satisfying portrayal of may-december romance with the mush women will love and just enough conflict and tension to keep the men around, too. We all know the outcome before the start but it's still a gentle and loving rendition of the blossoming of true love.
It's not your typical comedy romance, with two attractive young stars dating in a traditional manner or having sex shortly after the opening credits. The romantic leads are both wonderful in this unusual tale, with Sally Field engaging as the young divorcée, Emma Moriarty. The amazingly charismatic James Garner plays the older widower, Murphy Jones, an affable, laid back pharmacist 30 years or so her senior. Emma has just moved to Murphy's small town to set up a horse ranch nearby with her teenage son, Jake. Murphy gives Jake a part time job at his drug store to help out the young widow, tries to send business her way, and even recommends some eligible town gents for her to date (though he clearly has his eye on Emma himself).
Barely has an attraction begun between Emma and Murphy when there's 'trouble in paradise'. Emma's sexy but ne'er-do-well ex-husband, Bobby Jack, shows up, convinces Emma to let him stay with her & their son for awhile, and tries to rekindle the fire, so to speak. Of course Jake wants his dad back, so pressure is put to bear on Emma. Meanwhile, right in front of the ex, Murphy is carrying on a rather unusual courtship of Emma! He ends up staying for supper with the 'happy little family of three' nigh on just about every night, even joins them for a hand or two of cards. Bobby Jack is naturally not pleased with this turn of events, and the competition between the two of them for Emma's affections makes for some pretty witty dialogue and amusing scenes, especially at a local square dance.
Also, the contrast between the two men in terms of their inner character gives Emma cause for reflection...the charming but cheating, good for nothing Bobby Jack versus the easy going but hard working, caring, and principled Murphy. You're going to absolutely love Murphy's Romance! You just can't help it.
This is a nice movie to curl up and watch with a cup of hot chocolate (or iced tea). It moves along at a steady pace so you aren't bored and the ending will leave a smile on your face. I gave this movie 10 stars because I'm entertained every time I watch it. On a side note, I usually hate romantic movies, but this one is just different. Especially with the age gap that, in the end, just doesn't matter anymore.
Sally Field gives an understated performance as a woman with an unusual occupation (at least for the movies) who starts a new life in a desert town. James Garner, who patented the understated performance, is the local pharmacist (also an unusual occupation for the movies; the last time a pharmacist was even a minor character in a film was probably It's a Wonderful Life), who guides the newcomer toward potential love interests, all the while subtly romancing her himself.
Complications ensue when the good-for-nothing ex-husband turns up, and Field's character's young son gets to contrast his bone-idle dad with a real man. The movie is warm, witty and well-filmed. Alas, James Garner, in his best role, ran into the same problem as Harrison Ford, in his best role: Both were nominated for Oscars the year William Hurt starred in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and at the Oscars, cross-dressing usually trumps everything else.
The story is simple and yet special with it's well chosen cast and talented performances by all. This is a film that has no special effects, digital fancy do-dads or explosions and yet it makes you wanting more films like it. Hollywood could take a lesson from this gem of a movie.
Now once I offer you this tip, I'm sure you'll take me up on the challenge. Just keep attentive during any modern flick and you're bound to see a product placement scene featuring Coca Cola. Usually it's a quick shot, but boy, the Coke folks got their money's worth here. There were at least six different Coke instances, more if you count a second glance within the same situation. This started out as a game between my wife and I after I first noticed how often the popular brand wound up in a movie, so it's second nature now. Just can't help myself.
You know, Garner had a line that made me do some research. When he's invited to the movies, he mentions that he hadn't been to one since the Duke died. So I checked, and sure enough, John Wayne passed away six years prior to this film's release. Something else though, did you know Wayne's father was a pharmacist? Can you imagine that.
The dialogue is terse and funny, the acting is superb, and the story at the end is very satisfying. This is a movie for discriminating adults tired of chase scenes, predictable dialogue, and tired formulas.
If we lost him out of the movie is no life at all.He is also served for an Oscar nomination. Cory Haim is very good actor. The movie is funny, humorous and comfortable.
The Cinemaphotograher William A.Fraker shoots the movie feel like a slightly kind of village. It's a good feeling of how the country village like and everyone is nice. It's a very unexpectedly good movie!Just add to your DVD collection now !
Sally Field is a newly-divorced mom setting up house with her son. Garner is a good 'ol boy who takes a hankering to her and promises to be a positive male influence. The doofus stud of an ex-husband makes a nuisance of himself. Guess who Field winds up with?
The film rides along harmlessly enough on the personalities of its two leads.
Won Oscar nominations for Garner and its cinematography.
The petite Fields is utterly winning as the gritty Emma. If you can buy her restoring and maintaining a ranch house and grounds pretty much by herself then the rest is easy. Garner, of course, is Garner, but with a little more edge than usual. There's no Maverick here (except for the poker game), still the natural charm surfaces when needed. It's a rather laid-back screenplay, in no hurry to get where it's going. But the dialog is superbly calibrated, the humor more subtle than snappy or obvious. Also, small town atmosphere is well integrated into events, especially the community dance with its ordinary-looking people. And scope out that hay bale contest, seeing who can roll a hay bale fastest. And catch Charles Lane as the cranky old man. Here he's already 80, and lived to 102!—with a career that started in 1930.
This is really Fields' film. You can't help rooting for her small winsome woman against such big odds. But it's hard to imagine anyone else in either of the two leads. All in all, the film's a fine character study with comedic overtones and should not be missed.
We used to live in a small cowboy town similar to this one and the people are very friendly! I wasn't into rodeos and cowboy hats but I miss all the friends we have there.
Can anyone tell me if Sally does her own horseback riding? Whoever it is REALLY knows how to maneuver a horse ♥ Thank you!
This is better than most May to December romantic movies. Garner is utterly charming. The beauty is their hesitation. The characters know their age difference and keep pushing away the romance. Sally Field is just as charming. Her horse riding is probably the most impressive thing in the movie. Garner and Field make an adorable couple despite their age difference.
This is old fashioned film making with lots of heart and a decent cast and crew. You can tell. The shots are professional, and not over done. There are few overstated moments, and the story moves along at a nice pace.
This film comes from a time when Hollywood didn't have to placate to the aging boys of America by throwing in lots of foul language, nudity, obvious and strong sexual references and body function jokes. All the adult humor is there, but it's placed in a more respectable and grown up perspective.
The acting is solid. The location perfect, and the characters are right on the mark. In other words, it's a fine little film. A small film with some big names to tell a very endearing tale of tried and true feelings that everyone feels. A reminder to all about what life is all about.
I guess the best clue I can give is this; it's like my cousin says, after a while age is just a number.