Lukas Haas portays David, a withdrawn but apparent near genius, who fears being touched. Brittney Murphy plays Lisa, a young woman seemingly suffering from split personalities who speaks ...
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The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds ... See full summary »
Howard Da Silva
On June 12, 1964, Nelson Mandela, along with numerous political detainees, was sentenced to life imprisonment in what remains the most sensational treason trial in the history of South ... See full summary »
This movie contains three short stories dealing with the theme of homosexuality. In "A Friend of Dorothy", a woman joins the Navy during the 1950's and discovers lesbianism. In "Mr. Roberts... See full summary »
Three glamorous "female" private investigators from an elite Los Angeles Detective agency are brought back to life after 25 years of slumber in a freeze drying chamber. Frozen by evil ... See full summary »
Lukas Haas portays David, a withdrawn but apparent near genius, who fears being touched. Brittney Murphy plays Lisa, a young woman seemingly suffering from split personalities who speaks only in rhymes and withdraws from anyone who doesn't speak to her likewise. Meeting in the psychiatric ward, the two's eyes lock and an obvious attraction is indicated. First each must learn to approach each other in their own sphere. Enter Sidney Poitier as a caring psychologist who helps David to come to terms with his emotional failure to deal with his father's death at an early age. Debi Mazar also appears as Lisa's case worker.Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
This isn't a terrible movie, but to be honest, I'm baffled by all the praise it's received. The dialogue seems artificial and somewhat dated--David in particular has an extremely stilted manner that I'm not sure is actually intentional. In the first half of the movie he stands up abruptly and then turns away at least once a scene, and his various panic attacks are weirdly awkward and artificial. I'm not sure that this is Haas's fault--when I first read the original play about 8 years ago, I was instantly annoyed by David's character. I personally have a good deal of experience with mental illness, etc, and something about him didn't quite click. Once David was allowed to develop a little (and once he wasn't forced into these constant, over-the-top breakdowns), Haas's acting ability shows. I really would have liked to see more insight--more introspection--but because the director insisted on sticking directly to the play, this wasn't possible. The plot is decent; why couldn't they use that as the framework?
He changes as a result of Lisa, but we don't really see how or why. As a result, we end up with this sappy, unrealistic sort of "love conquers mental illness" story. What, is David cured now? He and Lisa haven't even had a real conversation when the movie ends; we're left with the idea that perhaps their relationship will develop into something fascinating...
...and then the movie ends. Damn it.
Murphy does decently as Lisa, considering what she's given to work with. And Poitier does wonderfully despite the dialogue, of course, but everybody else in the film seems vaguely out of place. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that there's still something very 1962 about the thing, and mental illness research has come a long way in 40 years. David and Lisa has its great moments--especially as it progresses--and I suspect that Haas in particular could do better in a different movie.
Even this one could be really good, but it just falls short somehow...probably as a result of the dialogue, which still seems straight out of a 60's play that was revolutionary in its time but has since become distractingly dated. (I am aware that they have made some changes to the slang, but there's more to speech than that.) Anyway, with some modifications in regards to the telling of the story and especially the character development, I think that it could be a much better movie. As it is, it's pretty unremarkable.
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