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Under-rated treasure
On second viewing of this movie, I like it even more than the first time. It is full of nuances and a perception of life as being quite ordinary and often fearful but what lifts this movie to a height rarely realized is its focus on the little incidences in our lives to which we normally only offer the briefest of attention spans. Here the movie spins into the celebration of these incidences, the meeting of a tow truck driver and client, the jogger hearing a baby's cry from the bushes. The dialogue, acting, casting and direction are superb. No two by fours, no grand revelations. What I did observe was how true the characters were to their basic natures and how enhanced their lives became when these were celebrated. Kudos to all involved in this, we need more "Grand Canyons" in our lives. 9 out of 10.
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Kasdan's vision is expertly shown
Schleprock6 June 2002
Perhaps you won't care for the social commentary, or the film makers point of view (I myself am mystified at the ‘insignificance' angle Kasdan seemed to promote – when clearly, the actions taken in the movie promote CERTAIN significance. The ending confused me). However, there's absolutely no denying the manner in which the story is presented; the magnificent symbolism throughout; the threaded character arcs; visuals; dialogue – is absolute masterwork. I've watched the movie dozens of times, and I still marvel at its perfection. There's not a moment, action, cut, or line that doesn't have everything to do with the theme. Realistic human performances from all the actors. Scene to scene it's woven fantastically.

I have a pretty level sap-meter. The buzzer never went off during this film. If you're a thinker (rather than a casual viewer) – this movie delivers. Exponentially. Absolutely mesmerizing. (Do you have to agree with the message to appreciate the display? Who cares if it made you warm and fuzzy or not, was it interesting?)

Personally, the movie affected me – significantly. In my top 5.

Note: The front-page reviewer clearly speaks from a flawed African American perception. What he may have failed to recognize, is, there was a hand – shake. Not a hand - out. The ‘spiritually dead white man', simply saw a man to respect, and admire. And he did something about it. The fact he was black had little, if anything, to do with it (color is simply used to draw the parallel. And the chasm. It's no accident the opening sequence shifts from black and white to color either). If you view the blacks in this movie as ‘token' – you may want to reassess YOUR angst. You may be seeing only black and white yourself, eh. Just a thought.
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Damned To Stay The Unheard Poem Of Our Lives
schogger1314 August 2003
This is and will stay Hollywood's most criminally underrated movie about life... and how to live with it. No smart answers. No solutions. But every worth-while question gets its honest reflection.

Sometimes sentimental. Sometimes giving up on the unsolved future. Sometimes kissing the brow of the undeserving. Always scary and beautiful.

I know, not really a logical assessment, but if you saved yourself a fraction of your... well... 'innocense'..., a fraction of your desire for a solid horizon to look at, you will love this movie without a second consideration, and you'll need a LOT more time to explain that to yourself.

A very personal confession: The soundtrack makes me cry over what I've lost and gambled away for the prize of cynical safety. Nothing will come back. I am the child of black jokes. But 'Grand Canyon' reminds me of the ever-lasting loophole into hope.

This is the movie I will never be able to praise sensibly.

'Grand Canyon' will stay my guilty pleasure.

This is a truly beautiful movie. I had almost forgotten in my hard-boiled pride what that word means..., until I watched 'Grand Canyon'..., and had to watch it again... and again...

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very rare - a work of genius
dadifiori5 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say that Grand Canyon is one of the most affecting films I've ever seen. I've watched it several times now and I still feel as I did the first time; that this film, by itself, could make up the entire curriculum of a post-graduate course in film direction.

A long time ago film trailers used to promise, "It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry." That's a very trite and shorthand method of describing what Grand Canyon does. It takes you to the best places in human experience and the next moment takes you to the gates of hell.

Much of the film is paced to cycle back and forth between people being close to happiness and the same people being close to horror. It's always a short step, too. Just to manage that swing with grace and without making it look false or exaggerated is directorial genius.

Spoiler (of sorts) coming up. After getting the audience used to rocking back and forth through the emotional spectrum, the film throws a curve with a sequence that doesn't go from good to bad and back but instead escalates from an ordinary marital spat, through an accidental self-inflicted knife wound that may or may not require stitches, to an earthquake that has the characters run from the house. In the moment of their relief, argument forgotten, cut finger forgotten, the earthquake survived, a neighbor woman calls out that her elderly husband has collapsed. The couple rushes to his aid. I cried when I saw this sequence. I cried every time I saw it. I'm crying now. It isn't sadness that does this to me. It's not a particularly sad sequence. What tears me up is that this few minutes of film was PERFECT. That's PERFECT! Astounding. (end of spoiler)

There's so much to say about Grand Canyon. It portrays relatively ordinary people experiencing epiphanies and it lets the viewer experience them vicariously. They aren't showy or overblown and there's no long pause to examine the moment carefully. The film moves on at the pace of life. Even when the characters do try to make sense of what has happened, they are uncertain of what to derive from their experience.

Grand Canyon is a very human film.
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Screenwriting at it's best...
kdryan20 March 2003
This highly underrated film is (to me) what good writing in a movie should be all about. Kasdan takes the search for meaning in our lives and lays it out for all to see and wonder at. The movie is about the divides people create to insulate themselves from the violence and hatred and bigotry of everyday life.

Along the way we are asked question after question about life. Davis (Steve Martin with a great beard) asks himself 'Is my making a violent movie (and by extension our enjoyment of it) causing the violence in society?' Claire asks "What kind of world throws away something as precious as a human life?' Mack is not immune as he asks 'Is it possible to pass beyond the bounds of race and (an even harder step) finance? These are of course not quoted from the film, but generalities. Others ask their questions too, and to be honest it raises more than it answers.

But that is the nature of life. We strive all our lives to find answers to questions we will never totally answer, and in certain cases have to make answers fit to our own needs and desires. As humans we thrive on questions we cannot answer. Some answers are real. Claire and Mack come to realize that even though they could take the easy road and let the state take the baby, their finding it placed the responsibility for her life in their hands. Some answers are not. Davis `Sees the Light' and decides not to make violent films, but the next day turns around and dismisses his epiphany as subordinate to his art.

We all seek answers. This movie does not answer them for; it simply reminds you to keep looking for the answers.
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One of the most interesting American Directors
jcoleman-317 July 2003
I rarely review anything on the internet, but want to comment on this film. I think Grand Canyon is entirely under-rated, and is in fact one of the greatest American contemporary films. I have seen it many times, and am amazed at Kasden's directorial and writing skills. I think most reviewers don't understand it! I see very glib reviews about this film but seldom indepth comment.I believe this film is about synchronicity, life-purpose/meaning and the feeling of powerlessness and isolation of people in a fast-moving culture where youth passes rapidly,transition is constant, and big-brother is watching. Outstanding acting from all actors, indepth characterizations and real-life dilemnas. I love the way "Simon" who appears to be the "doubting Thomas" and only believes in "fate" without purpose begins to understand human interconnection towards the end of the film. Though I don't necessarily agree that "the problems of a few little people don't matter a hill of beans" in relation to the majesty of the Grand Canyon, I see Kasden's point that perspective on our lives is important!

I don't know much about Kasden but have tried to learn more. He seems to manage to insert his spiritual message in an entirely entertaining way in recent films: witness "French Kiss" and Mumford"...both of which deal cleverly with loss and reinventing ourselves. I suspect he wrote many of the Jedi and Yoda parts of the original Star Wars films --the Jedi philosophy seems consistent with his own. I am a student of Conscious Creation concepts and love films so am always happy to see how Mr. Kasden weaves his message into his latest films.

Thank you, Mr. Kasden and please keep creating!
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One of the ten best films of the '90's
Movie-Jay30 December 2000
I revisited Grand Canyon earlier this year when I set out to devise a ten best list of the 1990's. I first saw the film when I was 17 years old. How did I hear about it? It was reviewed, and recommended highly, by Siskel & Ebert in 1991, and I eventually caught it on video a year later.

It's a great film, a powerful film, a healing film, about the power of listening, truly listening to one another. I've seen it six times now, and it entertains and inspires me with every subsequent viewing. But why the poor reviews for this movie? Maltin's movie guide gives it two out of four. Too melodramatic, too much coincidence, too sappy, are the expressions that I read the most. Yes, there is melodrama in this story, and yes, there is a lot of coincidence, too. But it delivers with an intensity and force that seems supple. For all of the "plot" that exists in Grand Canyon, such as drive-by shootings, a police chase, an earthquake, a love affair, a woman's discovery of a baby in the bushes, another shooting, a near accident by a new driver, and worldly advice from a homeless man, this movie wins because of the smart performances by Kevin Kline, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Danny Glover, and Jeremy Sisto. It also succeeds because of Lawrence Kasdan's skillful direction and writing. You know that this isn't just another movie when you consider a sequence at the beginning of the film that involves Kevin Kline being harassed by four black youths. Danny Glover plays a tow truck driver who assists the Kline character, but not before he gets harassed too, by the leader of the bunch. Listen to the dialogue as the kid suggests to Glover,"Are you afraid of me because of me, or because I have a gun?".

Grand Canyon is filled with one perceptive scene after another. Steve Martin should have been nominated for best supporting actor as a movie producer who has a change of heart and then a subsequent change of mind. I think his character is a warning that "the good" can carry us forward, that idealism is a virtue, but one that we must fight for constantly rather than depend upon.

I fear that Grand Canyon may be lost forever in the wilderness of non-new releases at the video store. But with the deals now on older releases as low as 99 cents, I plead with anyone who has read this far into a review from a reviewer that you will thank after having rented it, Grand Canyon is something special. If you loved Magnolia, another movie with a big ensemble about deep humanist themes, you'll love Grand Canyon, too.
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certainly one of the 90's best movies
khouston8620 December 2002
One measurement for the greatness of a movie is, 'if it came on t.v. right now, would you want to sit there and watch it again?' My answer for the Grand Canyon is as powerful a "yes" as it would be for nearly any movie I have ever seen. There are just so many powerful moments, such an intelligent and moving story, such incredible performances.

It perfectly captures the confusion and violence that were so rampant in the early nineties. But it also dramatically affirms the capacity of individuals to love, think and care. In a slight way, the movie was of its time. It partly portrays society as a balloon about to burst. Because the country was in a recession, and so void of leadership, this was true of that time. But the movie is also timeless. I think it could honestly stand up against any movie that has ever been made, and it is the most overlooked film of all time.
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One of the greatest movies I've had the pleasure to see!
Weasel10019 November 2004
I'll keep this one quite short. I believe that this is an extraordinary movie. I see other reviewers who have commented to the effect that it's badly written, poorly shot, has a terrible soundtrack and, worse, that it's not real in its portrayal of life. OK, so it may not be quite believable for its whole length, but this movie carries a message of hope which some others seemed to have missed. Hope that it isn't too late to save people from the terrible things that go on in so many lives. Gangland violence is real, right? Is it right, no! This movie carries an important social message which the cynics may dislike but which nonetheless is to be praised, rather than denigrated. I have watched this movie with great enjoyment at least eight times, each time with equal enjoyment and each time with the feeling that maybe the world could be made better and is not beyond saving (well not until 2008 anyway). 9 out of 10 from me for this one. It's very nearly perfect in my view. JMV
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Heart-warming film
dbellmyer9 August 2006
I really liked this film when it was released, and I still do, because the storyline makes you feel hopeful about life in general, and people of the things I like about the films of Lawrence Kasdan. In addition to the positive vibes from the film, there are other reasons to like Grand Canyon. For one thing, it has an outstanding cast...Kevin Kline and Danny Glover, for example. In my opinion, Crash, the highly acclaimed film that won the Oscar for best picture, was very similar to this film. The difference is that Grand Canyon leaves you feeling positive. Crash had the opposite effect with me; it was very dark. I would choose Grand Canyon over Crash any day.
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Deserved more attention
Boyo-218 February 1999
"Grand Canyon" is a lot of things at once, but I found all of it completely fascinating. The characters and situations were realistic and the cast is flawless. You might find yourself crying at the movie - I did. It's a shame there was no audience for this movie, because I think it has a lot to say on several levels.
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Existential Commentary On Life Is Beautiful All Around
Elswet15 June 2007
This work is less about Steve Martin's character Davis, than it is about Kline (Mack) and Glover (Simon), and Kline and McDonnell (Claire), but the dialog inserted via Davis is pondering, contemplative, near-poetic existentialism at its best. He is witty, intelligent, and thoughtful in both dialog delivery and content. The writers deserved an Oscar.

The performances are easy, relaxed, and natural; just what you would expect from "A List" actors. Martin contributes the performance which leads into his more recent Shopgirl, guiding you through life, love, and the pursuit of wisdom if not happiness. Kline is the straight - the suit - the conformist of the film, and as such his performance is crisp and refreshing.

This work deals with life in all aspects. It engenders a true emotional investment in its characters, and leaves you feeling hopeful that Mankind is not doomed, after all, no matter WHAT you believe, deep down.

All in all? This is delightful, with a gritty moment or two, and easy natural dialog which draws you in, assisting its audience in gaining a high enjoyment from this work. It's definitely worth your time, though it may not be every one's top choice as Friday/Saturday night entertainment.

I really enjoyed the intelligence this exhibited. It's not typical, and was an unexpected surprise. Another wonderful surprise was the honesty exhibited herein. The couples and friends hold detailed conversations, which feel and sound fully honest and (again) natural. I was very impressed with this work, and will be adding it to the DVD collection soon.

It rates a 9.1/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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an amazing film about the magic of life
macduff5024 October 2007
A lot of the comments people have made strike me as (sorry) missing the point. Kasdan wants to present life, simply, ordinary life. The conventionally structured story, where characters have insights that change their lives, and then fade out, music up, and the film is over, is absorbed into this much larger canvas. Several characters in this movie have just such illuminations, and then they move on. Sometimes they can hold onto their insights, sometimes they can't, and that's the way life really is. In other words, Kasdan jettisons conventional dramatic structure in favor of an exploration of the the ongoingness of life – there is no happy ending, only an eventual ending; and everything before that is still in process, still always up for grabs – and, if you absolutely insist on a theme, an exploration of the role of the miraculous in our lives. What is a miracle? Well, life itself, for a start. Then add in all the random incidents and cross-connections that make up a life, or several interconnected lives, and you have miracles by the bucketful. Kasdan underscores this theme lightly, rather than insisting on it, and bolsters it in various ways, most memorably by the device, right in the center of the film, of having Mac and his wife, lying in bed, each dreaming their own dreams, but as well showing, later on in the film, how those dreams have the power, within the film, to shape reality. This is not a film with an easy or obvious message. You just have to let it play out in front of you, and then let it sit in your mind for a few days, a month, a few years, and see what it has wrought there. This is, without a doubt, Kasdan's best film, his most mature, his most humane. A major meditation on life from one of our most gifted writers and directors. The tragedy is, of course, that he has not been allowed to work for a number of years now, mostly due to studio constraints around "Dreamcatcher." Hopefully we haven't heard the last from Larry Kasdan. A great film from a great artist. Keep in mind that art does not have to rationalize itself completely in order to succeed.
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A Grand Movie`
ramonstreet11 July 2002
I stumbled upon this film, one night, while watching TV, and thought: "This movie is really interesting - WHAT IS IT?" I have recently seen the whole film. I don't wish to join the debate that seems to be raging on these pages, but I have this to say: This film is REAL. It seems to have been culled from real life. The characters practically leap off the screen. The film is both emotionally and intellectually engaging, and I couldn't pull myself away from it. Believe me, very few films grab me the way this one has, and I trust my instincts. The craftmanship is exquisite - the film has been made with tender loving care. The actors have been given room to breathe, and it shows. One of the best American films I have ever seen. If you liked "Grand Canyon", and like movies about ideas, I recommend Jane Campion's "An Angel at My Table" and David Lean's "A Passage to India". I'm a guy, but I like films with strong female characters and males who aren't always oozing macho muck.
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Extremely Clever Film.
Gustavo14 July 2006
Grand Canyon falls under a very scarce category: it is a very clever film, with very clever dialogs and food for thought everywhere from start to end. I have the impression that it never made it to it's deserved ranking (and never will), because of it's simplicity. This kind of flick needs sensitive watchers. Pity thought that IMDb makes me write ten lines, because this is in no way necessary in this particular case. Anyway in order to fulfill this request, I will tell you that the weak point of the film if any is in the acting: not that it is bad but it could have been done much better. Exception made for Kevin Kline who was perfect. Go ahead and watch it.
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"All of Life's Riddles are Solved in the Movies"
jhclues11 September 2002
Early in this film one of the characters makes the observation that half of the people in the city of Los Angeles (in which the story is set) live every day on the verge of hysteria. It is further noted that the other half ARE hysterical, and the predominant aspect of their lives is attempting to control their constant fear; fear generated entirely by the very nature of their environment, and just the way things `are.' It's a thought provoking concept of life in the ‘90s and beyond, and of a world in which babies are abandoned, people live in boxes on the street and the guy with the gun is in charge. And as another character so succinctly points out, `This isn't the way the world is supposed to work--' All of which and more is considered by director Lawrence Kasdan in his evocative drama `Grand Canyon,' starring Danny Glover, Kevin Kline and Mary McDonnell. It's a contemplation of the kind of world in which we are forced to live, the huge gaps and voids it creates in our lives, and the decisions and choices we make in an effort to fill the crevasses it all forms in our souls. This is more than just a film, it's a statement; a reflection upon what it takes for millions of people from all walks of life to get out of bed every morning and face the day. And for those who care enough and are bold enough to look deeply into Kasdan's eyes, there's a message to be found here, and a powerful one it is.

In the song `Johnny 99,' Bruce Springsteen sings about a part of town where `When you hit a red light you don't stop,' and when Mack (Kline) leaves a Laker's game at the Forum and decides to try a short cut to avoid traffic, it is precisely in `that' part of town that his car gives up the ghost. His cell phone is dead, but he manages to find a phone booth and call for road service. But just as he gets back to his car, he becomes the target of a gang of armed young hoodlums out for an easy score or possibly more. And when things are looking about as bad as they can for Mack, the tow truck arrives, and out steps a man named Simon (Glover), who thankfully knows a thing or two about negotiating with gang members; after all, this is his turf-- where he lives and makes his living. Simon takes Mack out of harms way, and it is at that auspicious moment that a convergence of two heretofore divergent worlds occurs.

Mack is an immigration lawyer who lives and works within the environs of the Miracle Mile; Simon is a part of the town in Springsteen's song. Two individuals from different worlds whom fate brings together for a split second; and It's a moment that is destined to change both their lives forever, and like ripples issuing from a stone dropped into a pond, it is soon going to touch and make a difference in many other lives, as well. Mack and Simon are about to learn a few things from one another, the most important of which may be found in Simon's perspective of the human race, and the significance of `people' when compared to one of Eternity's masterworks, the Grand Canyon.

Lawrence Kasdan and Meg Kasdan wrote the screenplay for this film, from which Mr. Kasdan proceeds to deliver one of his finest cinematic offerings. As previously stated, this is more than a film; it's a contemplation of who we are and what we have become as a species during our time upon this planet, and where it's all taken us. And under Kasdan's steady guidance and insightful gaze, it is truly riveting drama that works especially well because there is something in it to which everyone will be able to identify or relate. Certainly it will strike a deeper chord with those who live or have spent time in a large metropolitan area; the situations in this film will resonate much more for someone who has lived in L.A., as opposed to those born and raised in Independence, Oregon, for example. But all will find a connection with the human issues Kasdan so incisively examines, because they are universal in nature. Quite simply, Kasdan hits a perfect pitch here. This is emotionally involving drama from beginning to end, aided in no small part by the mesmerizing score by Bill Conti and James Newton Howard that serves as a veritable pulse for the entire film.

The outstanding ensemble cast matches Kasdan's excellence with a number of unforgettable performances, beginning with Kline and Glover. Kline gives the kind of performance we've come to expect from him, which is to say convincing, believable and entirely credible. He explores all of the nooks and crannies of his character and concisely expresses all that he finds there. Glover, too, hits his stride perfectly, making Simon genuine and real by finding his character's center and effectively maintaining his focus on it.

It is Mary McDonnell, however, who nearly steals the show with her portrayal of Claire, Mack's wife. This is an extremely complex character, and McDonnell manages to thoroughly examine all of her myriad emotional levels and express them convincingly. This is a woman at a most fragile time of her life, with the concerns of being a loving, devoted wife in conflict with her more maternal nature; coping with the sense of loss associated with the fact that her only child, Roberto (Jeremy Sisto) is fifteen and growing up too fast, and seeking to satisfy her need to nurture. In Claire, McDonnell creates a woman with an absolute aura of beauty about her; it's a brilliant performance that is the very heart of the film.

And finally, Steve Martin (Davis), Mary-Louise Parker (Dee) and Alfre Woodard (Jane) take `Grand Canyon' to the zenith of cinematic accomplishment. 10/10.
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One of the great underappreciated films of the '90s
sbloomwood29 December 2001
I just watched this film again and remain dismayed at the number of cynics who dismiss it as just New Age pap. A great film, one that takes its time to develop, it keeps coming close to going over the edge but never does and ultimately is meditative, affecting, and truer to life than most films people who dismiss its "coincidences" can see. I was angry at the time that movies like "Prince of Tides" and "Bugsy" (though I liked the latter) were nominated for best picture that year (let alone that "Silence of the Lambs" won!) and this was ignored completely except for one nomination for best screenplay. Upon revisiting it, I think history supports my initial reaction!
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extraordinary, defies its genre, visual poetry
nicolefaith20 March 2003
"Grand Canyon" is the rare, fleeting example of a movie handled so truthfully from the start that the journey overwhelms the give-away ending. For a superb 137 minutes flashing by, directing, acting, and screenwriting hit a nearly flawless note. Sucking on this bottle for instant gratification, however, is contra-indicated. Grand Canyon does not leave home with a nursemaid. Those who lust for predictable Hollywood spin with contrived drama and only fantastic elements of human life will feel unsatisfied with Director and Screenwriter (with Meg Kasdan) Lawrence Kasdan's stubborn defiance of proper genre hygiene. Kasdan's visual poetry draws us in to a world of separate images, forcing potential connections to jack-knife through the mind. Yet Kasdan provides no answers, at least not quickly. The radomness deliberately provokes preconditioning that "everything happens for a reason in the movies". Nothing connects. Nothing makes sense in the formula way wished subconciously. After all, one sees movies to escape life, not to immerse in it. The viewer's frustration peaks and the introspective see Kasdan's point about life's overwhelming radomness. Grand Canyon's scenes unfold throughout L.A. and Kasdan brilliantly plays on everyday scenarios of commutes, dodgy neighborhoods, and family tension until familiarity and frustration forces the viewer to hold these images as their own. The tension of the film binds with our personal emotions about how alienating life can be, about how alone we really are. For those who evaluate their suspended belief on his terms, Kasdan has a rich reward. He spoons us our medication precisely when we need it and not when we think we do. Yet by now there is little desire to fast-forward. We are entering with a sort of intrinsic trust into Kasdan's world. He has established that to "get" his story we need every word, each nuance. Kasdan's pace does not disapoint but takes off as the relationships form. His cuts and dialogue sync perfectly to the state of his characters as they (and we) make the connections. Grand Canyon truly gallops just a step in front of its audience beckoning with analytical gestures into its emotional content. But just as his message of alienation seems drilled one too many times Kasdan lifts the man-hole cover off a new hole and declares alienation isn't really what he's talking about at all. The isolating radomness is exposed as a delicate lure that creates humanity and a sense of fragility in the viewer; an understanding of the shared poignancy of coming and going ultimately, alone. We see Kasdan is really speaking of how the life's randomness heightens the beauty of connections to others simply because life usually makes no sense and of the responsibility to light the candle for people simply because we grope in darkness ourselves. In a movie as abstractly symbolic and thought provoking as "Apocalypse Now", Kasdan creates what could be Apocalypse Now's alter ego, the gentle side. His characters unveil a chosen logic, a purposeful proactivity that seems heroic in their chaotic world. However, the superb acting eliminates the possibility that Grand Canyon is populated with two dimensional goody-two-shoes. In fact, it is not so much of a stretch to imagine these characters were ourselves in their situations, a refreshing twist from the standard "wannabe" Hollywood fantasy. Kasdan does not exude easy answers, but seems to nudge us, asking "what would you do?" as we realize how precisely his everyday, chaotic world mirrors our own and how many untapped choices might be right here with us the moment we finish watching his movie and begin our life.
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One of the best movies ever made!!
trumboner10 July 2004
If you have not seen this excellent movie about life in the 90s (in L.A.) then you've missed a special treat. This is one of the most amazingly and most powerful movies ever made about life for Americans in the 90s and it even carries over into today's world in which we live in. It covers everything from raising a child, prejudice (more than one way),love, adultery, empty nest syndrome, selfishness, etc..and the list goes on. This story builds up to an ultimate climax and then when nothing else matters it always goes back to love with friends and family and love of life. It helps us dig deep within ourselves and to make us search for what we want out of life. Makes us ask questions of ourselves. Have we done enough for others, are we like this, etc.??? Sit back and enjoy a wonderfully done and emotional movie that I'm sure others will enjoy for a lifetime.

Take note of Mary Mcdonnell, Kevin Kline and Danny Glover's wonderful performance through this whole film. These actors are amazing and really show the true glow and meaning of what message is being sent to all of us. These are 3 of my favorite actors for life after seeing this film over 10 years ago now. I still enjoy it again and again. Also enjoy the wonderful soundtrack with it and don't forget to count how many times you see the helicopter fly by and try to figure out it's symbolism for the movie??hmmm... I almost forgot this is probably Steve Martin's very first serious acting role in any film he has ever done. He, too does an excellent job in this movie. This may come as a surprise to most of you. Sit back, relax and enjoy truly good film making.....
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A Special film that led the way for Crash in 2005
Dave (freaky_dave)1 August 2007
Before there was Crash, there was this interesting film called Grand Canyon. Released about 14 years sooner than the former film, Grand Canyon was a movie about two people from different backgrounds who come together as friends over a lifetime. To me Crash was still a slightly better film, but Grand Canyon was no slouch either.

Taking place in Los Angeles, an upper-class lawyer named Mack (Kevin Kline) takes a shortcut through the seedier side of town only to have his car break down at the worst time. He calls for a tow truck, and has to wait for awhile, only to soon be threatened by a group of dangerous people who want his car. Soon the tow truck driver arrives at the perfect moment, and out steps Simon (Danny Glover) to take the truck away. Both men are threatened, but Simon manages to get himself, Mack, and the car out of dire straits. It is from here on out that a friendship develops between the two men over a lifetime with Mack helping out Simon just as Simon had helped him out of a dangerous situation earlier. You see Simon's sister Deborah (Tina Lifford) is living in a dangerous neighborhood with her two children, and fears for her oldest son who seems to be roaming the streets at night with some bad people. Mack offers them a better place to live as well as hooking Simon up with his secretary's friend Jane (Alfre Woodard).

This is the main plot of the film, but there are other smaller plots involving the same secretary mentioned above (Mary Louise Parker) as well as Mack's wife, (Mary McDonnel) who discovers an abandoned baby not long after their son Roberto (Jeremy Sisto in his first movie role) has gone to camp for the summer, and will likely be moving on with his own life soon. The details of all these plots are brought together into one complex movie which uses a police helicopter as a metaphor for life and as a bridge to entwine all the different scenes. This simple plot device works very well and helps greatly with the flow of the story.

The director Lawrence Kasdan, whose biggest movie to this date was The Big Chill, has created a splendid movie here. The cast is excellent, and most of the ideas are well thought out, but alas it falls short of greatness because some points, that would've made the film even stronger, are glossed over. The story involving the secretary is one, and the second involving Simon's nephew is the other. These scenes should've been more apart of the entire story, and then maybe Lawrence Kasdan's views of life between the upper and lower classes would've been more on a superior level instead of just very good. Still Grand Canyon exceeded expectations, and yes you will get to see a view of the canyon that this movie was named after. There is also a small role for Steve Martin as Davis, a producer of violent films, who offers his own views on life, and has a small part to play in this movie's ideas.
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As I understand it, this was released right before the Rodney King riots.
Lee Eisenberg15 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Well, maybe not immediately before the Rodney King riots, but even a few months before was timely enough. My parents said that they saw it and the next thing you know, the police got acquitted and LA got burned to the ground. It just goes to show the state of race relations in America. The plot has white Mack (Kevin Kline) and African-American Simon (Danny Glover) becoming friends after Simon saves Mack's life in the black ghetto. Meanwhile, movie producer Davis (Steve Martin in a serious role) thinks that gratuitous violence is really cool...until he gets shot. There's also some existentialism in the movie: Mack and his family come to realize that they aren't living as they really want.

It seems that "Crash" has somewhat renewed people's interest in race relations, but this one came out much earlier. Maybe we'll never be able to have stable race relations in this country. But either way, "Grand Canyon" is a great movie. It affirms Kevin Kline as my favorite actor. Also starring Mary McDonnell, Mary-Louise Parker and Alfre Woodard.
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Before Crash there was Grand Canyon
Alex S16 March 2006
The mere fact that I still think of the movie a decade later is what really speaks volumes about the film. To me this substantiates Grand Canyon as a film that will touch you in one way or another. I truly believe that before the movie Crash there was Grand Canyon. The major difference between the two films in my opinion is the timing of their release. I'm not going to argue which one is better, but I will contend to the idea that they share the same message. I'd love to hear from those that have an opinion on this subject. I will start a commentary which you can find at You may also find me there to post any other topics about movies that we may share, because i have a true love for film.
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Crash without the fake conscience.
Moester_9 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing this movie when I was about 7; and at the time it shocked me. I had seen a violent movie before, but I never saw a movie with the consequences and reality of violence. This movie not only shows this, but it also shows how people can change their lives and choose happiness. What this movie did and crash failed to do was to be truthful. Crash tried to show how racism was bad (and Crash actually had a built-in anti Asian bias) and to come at it from a morally superior position. Grand Canyon came at things from such a raw and real perspective that it actually ends up on a higher ground than crash. Especially when you compare the endings. The ending of crash is this supposedly neat little ending that ties everything up. While Grand Canyon simply ends on a quiet note, where you know nothing much will change in the character's lives but that's because life just goes on too, there's no suitable ending. No matter how good...bad you are. There is no ending of a chapter to begin another.
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Had no answer to "whats your fav. movie" til Grand Canyon..
Next12win228 October 2002
In my opinion, the best movie ever. I love when people ask me what this film is about. I usually smile and say "life". They shrug and probably never give it another thought. The fact that everyone from every background can relate to some part of this movie makes it all that much more amazing. Definately a must see for everyone.
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Diversified comments here prove this is a good movie
furunxun4 September 2002
I pretty much scanned all the previous comments. While I realized that I might overrated this movie after I watched it on AMC last night (I highly recommended it to my roommate), for whatever reasons, I still recognize it as a great movie. Reason? Leaving alone all those having been discussed and commented before, I think a simple one to me is that "I want to stay and finish it". Yeah, nowadays, you could hardly find such movies, grasping, leading you to the end of the story. It is attractive, not with any voilence or sexual scences, nor with any over-exaggerating story lines or "cutting-edge" special effect whatever. When my friends asked me what the movie is about, though, I could not wrap it in a simple talk, because it is really inclusive, extensive and informative. I believe you will find some part of the film belong to you or the other way around. Enjoy.
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