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Inventing the Abbotts (1997)

R | | Drama, Romance | 4 April 1997 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

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Two working class brothers court three wealthy and beautiful sisters in a small Illinois town.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Doug Holt
... Jacey Holt
... Lloyd Abbott
... Helen Holt
... Eleanor Abbott
... Steve
... Pamela Abbott
... Alice Abbott
... Joan Abbott
... Peter Vanlaningham
Nicole M. Vassallo ... Giggling Girl #1
Amanda Sherman ... Giggling Girl #2
... Victor
... Webb Crosby
... Co-ed


Set in the 1950s, Inventing the Abbotts is a dramatic look at the life of two boys from the wrong side of the tracks and their interaction with the three daughters of local aristocrat Lloyd Abbott. The boys, Jacey and Doug Holt, have only three things in common: their family, table tennis and chasing the beautiful Abbott sisters. Their father, a reckless risk-taker, lost his life through a wager with Lloyd Abbott, his then business partner. Written by FMJ_Joker

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love no matter what See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Círculo de pasiones  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,301,138, 6 April 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,936,344, 11 June 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The narrator is played by Michael Keaton in an uncredited role. See more »


During Pam's graduation, Alice's baby cries and she has to leave the auditorium. The child looks about 18 mos, but the cry in the audio is one of an infant. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The end of my innocence and childhood began in 1957. It is remarkable to me now just how little I knew then about the people around me. It took me years to figure out exactly what the truth was, especially given my brother's knack at inventing facts. My mother once told me that if the Abbotts didn't exist, my brother would have had to invent them.
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Featured in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 1 April 1997 (1997) See more »


Cruisin' 1958
Courtesy of Increase Records
Cruisin' is a registered trademark of Increase Inc.
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User Reviews

A romance about two brothers and the beautiful Abbott girls.
10 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

Alright. I remembered seeing this movie years ago, when it was first released to video, and I liked it. Now, upon re-watching it for the first time since that fateful day ten years ago, I see why. Because I was a pervert. Clearly, I didn't enjoy this movie for its sweet message or its fine actors. Ugh.

Let me gripe from the beginning.

Alright, so first we're introduced to actors that are far too old to be playing their characters. That's fine, though -- I grew up watching Saved by the Bell -- I can deal with that. Then, as we get to know the characters a little better, we realize that, well, we really haven't gotten to know the characters at all. Other than Doug drawing breasts on a picture in school (that's how we find out that he's a "rebel) and Pam saying that each sister is the good, the bad, or the one who gets away with everything, we get nothing. There is literally NO character development. At times, it seems like the director might have tried...then no, by the end, you just find yourself angry because you invested two and a half (or whatever) hours into a movie about people, and you do not care in the slightest about any of the people.

But what about their acting you say? Well, that was just as terrible as the trite and obvious dialogue they were forced to spew. It's amazing when you see brilliant actors in earlier roles when they are give almost nothing to work with. Joaquin Phoenix is perhaps the most surprisingly horrid. Liv Tyler is cute -- when isn't she -- but she has nothing to work with, and to be honest, her acting was far from perfected (has it ever been, though?) She plays this innocent rich girl to a tee, but she still doesn't give us much of a reason to like her. And why does she like Phoenix's character Doug? Because of that rebellious drawing? Geesh. Give us some credit here.

Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly were good, I can't complain about their acting. But, Jennifer Connelly disappears after the first twenty minutes, in a ridiculous scene, with a ridiculous reason.

I could go on for hours. The "secret" behind the Abbotts and the death of the boys' father is pathetic. The attempt at sympathy for Lloyd Abbott falls flat. Maybe it wasn't intentional. Actually, I hope it wasn't.

Inventing the Abbotts keeps the viewer guessing what's going to happen from the get-go. It might be a Romeo and Juliet story, it might be a romantic coming-of-age, as the synopsis suggests. Unfortunately though, it actually turns out to be such thrown-together non-sense that the viewer wishes that their idea had been what happened. Instead, they're left with a characters they don't care about doing things they don't care about, and offended sense of romanticism and a bad taste lingering in their mouths.

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