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Unhook the Stars (1996)

Character study about Mildred, an elderly woman who has spent her life caring for others. When her daughter finally leaves home, she finds that, for the first time in her life, she has ... See full summary »

Director:

Nick Cassavetes
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gena Rowlands ... Mildred
Marisa Tomei ... Monica
Gérard Depardieu ... Big Tommy (as Gerard Depardieu)
Jake Lloyd ... J.J.
Moira Kelly ... Ann Mary Margaret
David Sherrill ... Ethan
David Thornton ... Frankie
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras ... Jeannie (as Bridgette Wilson)
Bobby Cooper ... Bernt
Clint Howard ... Gus
David Rowlands David Rowlands ... George (as Dave Rowlands)
Jamie Bozian ... Jason (as James Bozian)
Christy Lenk Christy Lenk ... Miss Mannis
Brittney Lewis Brittney Lewis ... Hospital Receptionist
Vinnie Curto Vinnie Curto ... Danny (as Vinny Curto)
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Storyline

Character study about Mildred, an elderly woman who has spent her life caring for others. When her daughter finally leaves home, she finds that, for the first time in her life, she has nobody to worry about - but soon becomes involved in the life of Monica, a young mother whose husband has left her to look after her young son J.J.. As the relationship blossoms, Monica teaches Mildred that there is more to life than taking care of others. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When prim & proper meets wild & crazy get ready to ...

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Csillagot az égről See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,258, 3 November 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$234,843, 23 February 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, Marisa Tomei played Dinosaurs with Jake Lloyd on the set. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mildred: [delivering morning newspapers] For the last time... Really the last time...
See more »


Soundtracks

It's Christmas Time Again
Written by Steven Hufsteter
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User Reviews

 
Unlikely neighbors
23 April 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

"Unhook the stars" marked the directorial film debut of Nick Casavettes, the son of the immensely talented John Casavettes and Gena Rowlands. This is clearly the director's homage to his beautiful mother, which probably was the reason this film was made. The screen play by the director and Helen Caldwell, doesn't translate to a good film, as we watch the finished product. Mr. Casavettes' heart is in the right place, but the movie, as written, doesn't make much sense.

First of all, one wonders where Mildred went wrong. Her daughter Annie is a mess. Her son, the yuppie, lives in his own material world. We would like to think Mildred and her late husband created a nice environment for these two children. They both turned out to be losers in their own right.

Mildred's neighbors don't belong in her neighborhood. One wonders how the probably low wage earner, Monica, can live across the street from Mildred's better than average home. A lady like Mildred would probably have told Monica off from the beginning. The way Monica curses in every sentence would have been a turn off factor for Mildred. Of course, we know she goes along because suddenly she has found the sweet little J.J. that Monica dumps on her.

Monica and Mildred live in two different worlds and it's hard for us to accept their situation because Monica shows no redeeming qualities, except the love for her son. Mildred, on the other hand, doesn't have a clue about how to reach out for her daughter. The only positive thing Mildred does is to sell the house and go into a new life. Miami in her future? The other thing that doesn't make sense is to watch the elegant Mildred going to the dive where Monica takes her to drink. Big Tommy's interest in her, while it might be sexual, is not fully realized either because they stick out like oil and vinegar. There is no chemistry between Mildred and this big French Canadian guy.

Gena Rowlands does an excellent job as Mildred. She is always serene and composed. That's why Marisa Tomei over acting, the way she does, looks completely out of place, next to Mildred. Jake Lloyd is sweet and not bratty as J.J., the boy who loves Mildred until his father comes back home. Moira Kelly's Annie is an enigma. David Sherrill and Bridgette Wilson play Mildred's son and daughter-in-law. Poor Gerard Depardieu, a great star in his native France, doesn't have a thing to show for himself. M. Depardieu should choose more carefully his future films in America!

With the exception of "She's so Lovely", which reminded us more of his father's influence, and "John Q", Nick Casavettes hasn't made a name for himself as of yet. It would be a great help for Mr. Casavettes to study his father's films, then, perhaps, he would find an inspiration for directing more movies that will showcase his talent. This one, or "The Notebook", alas, don't help him at all.


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