I'll Take You There (1999) Poster

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A very deft comedy with a great deal of underlying pain succeeds where most others fail.
ccmiller14927 September 2003
This comedy with much underlying pain and sadness succeeds where most others fail. There have been many films of this genre with more notable actors attempting to achieve this elusive mixture which haven't come anywhere near the depth and deftness of this one. This is surely because the exceptional cast with outstanding performances by Reg Rogers and Ally Sheedy seem so spontaneous that the reality of their characters rapidly grip your interest and emotions and hold them throughout the film. At first, the action seems rather off-the-wall and harebrained but one gradually learns that these two rather pathetic damaged people are desperately and unwillingly trying to heal themselves, even if grudgingly, through each other. Rogers' heartrending facial expressions of numb hurt and Sheedy's angry outbursts are so eloquent that one feels them as one observes them. You will care about these two likable but deeply suffering people and hope that they will succeed because it's in doubt and all hangs on a tenuous emotional thread. Hopefully audiences will get to see more of Reg Rogers and Ally Sheedy as this film proves their merit as very accomplished actors beyond doubt.
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Shelly's directorial debut is as original as she is
george.schmidt11 May 2004
I'LL TAKE YOU THERE (2000) **1/2 Reg Rogers, Ally Sheedy, Adrienne Shelly, Lara Harris, John Pyper-Ferguson, Alice Drummond, Alan North, Ben Vereen.

Adrienne Shelly, who became something of an independent filmgoers' version of a pin-up role model/icon with her frequent collaboration as filmmaker Hal Hartley's muse, takes her second attempt in the director's chair with a screwball comedy that has earmarks of her auteur, as well as Woody Allen; good for a start.

Bill (Reg Rogers), a successful real estate agent in New York City, is going through the darkest depression of his life. It's been three months since his beautiful sculptress wife Rose (Lara Harris) left him suddenly for his best friend Ray (John Pyper-Ferguson) - who, to make matters worse, bought a secluded house in Upstate New York from Bill - without warning and it has hit him hard, like a ton of bricks. To complicate his already descending spiral is his well-meaning sister Lucy (Shelly) who drops by one day to clean his house, cook him a meal and get him back in the game of life by fixing him up on a blind date with a former college friend who on cue arrives on his doorstep. Bernice - aka CC - (Sheedy in an ebullient, effervescent screwy performance) turns out to be a nightmarish apparition for Bill, who uncharacteristically slights her with a series of heartless, matter-of-fact delivered opines about her: a virtual character assassination.

This horrible evening in a never-ending string of dismal days for the morose Bill only gets worse when he gets in his mind to take his grieving to the next level and decides to pursue his estranged spouse by trading in one of her necklaces at a neighborhood pawnshop for a gun. Upon leaving the helpful proprietor (played by the one and only Ben Vereen!) CC is waiting outside the store for Bill and is clearly not herself and tells him just that. That he has dismantled her spirit and she is a shell of a woman now. In a clumsy attempt at an apology she later revisits him at his apartment and after a series of angry yet comical conversations she finagles a ride to her dying grandmother's home from Bill in his journey to win back Rose which winds up on a serpentine sidetrack after CC robs a dress boutique of its trendy, pricey wares and forced to stay at her grandmother's.

There Bill meets Stella and Max - CC's feisty grandma and her new companion (played by the estimable character actors Drummond and North, respectively of `Awakenings' and the original tv series `Police Squad!' which spawned the `Naked Gun' films) - who show their eccentricities including a bawdy, yet romantic song (`The Bastard Song') - and manage to cast some sort of wonderment over Bill into finally thawing out from his sad hibernation and seeing CC as a sweet, beautiful woman who clearly is more than she appears to be.

Shelly balances the neat highwire act of farce, screwball comedy, buddy-romantic/on-the-road hybrid with potential to spare in this low budget valentine to all those wild spirits with a touch of self-realization (the elderly couple is loosely based on her own grandparents whom she dedicates the film to). The dialogue has its own pizzazz but not as smart as say Woody Allen yet has its own appeal, however wacky and possibly far fetched (the constant `threat' of the gun turns out to be one of the all-time visual gags - when triggered a small American flag pops out), particularly Sheedy's funny speech during the heady climax. Rogers, an area theatrical actor best recognized as one of Julia Roberts' dumpees who sparks Richard Gere to investigate her in `Runaway Bride', is low-key yet very touching and humorous, even when he is on the border of committing either homicide or suicide and suggests a sleep-deprived Griffin Dunne (come to think of it the story also has echoes of Martin Scorsese's `After Hours' about a yuppie lost in NYC's Greenwich Village surrounded by an outlandish, crazy quilt of characters).

What she may lack in cinematic quality - although I did appreciate the hand-held videotape flashback in a painful car ride Bill recalls - Shelly does manage to commit to a story that is recognizable no matter how preposterous or kooky it may be. That's a compliment!
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A bit bizarre, but buoyant and brilliant.
Cipher-J25 November 2002
In many respects, this is the "Shallow Hal" film for the more mature and cultivated. The main character is a shmutzy looser whose ex-promqueen wife has dumped him unceremoniously for his self-absorbed best friend, and he is obsessed with winning her back. Then his sister, in a misguided attempt to cheer him up, sets him up with the date from hell. This character is exquisitely portrayed by Ally Sheedy, who explodes into his life like an atom bomb. She is repulsive, assertive, controlling and demanding, to give her the benefit of the doubt, and clings to him like a cheap suit of clothes. But this is not a melodrama, and the characters develop and evolve from the absurd to the sublime.

Unlike the more garish "Shallow Hal," which does ask us to consider the less superficial aspects of the meaning and purpose of a relationship, but with stereotypes painted "rather broadly" so to speak, this one approaches the subject with a sharply pointed pencil and a fine-toothed comb. In both films the guy is a dufus who learns to become a mensch. But the girl in this one has a rather paradoxical kind of beauty to her personality that was always there. She becomes likeable precisely because we know that she is different, and not in spite of that fact. Otherwise, it is a splendid fantasy and romance, not to be taken too seriously. We can believe that something like this could happen long enough to enjoy the wonderful story.
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Fun, funny, fresh indie stuff.
George Parker23 July 2001
"I'll Take You There" tells of a woebegone man who loses his wife to another and finds an unlikely ally in a blind date. Unlike most romantic comedies, this little indie is mostly tongue-in-cheek situational comedy featuring Rogers and Sheedy with little emphasis on romance. A sort of road trip flick with many fun and some poignant moments keeps moving, stays fresh, and is a worthwhile watch for indie lovers.
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Misery and Comedy - Chaplinesque and Allenesque
Jay Raskin20 October 2008
I was totally impressed by Shelley Adrienne's "Waitress" (2007). This movie only confirms what was clear from that movie. Adrienne was a marvelously talented writer-director, an original and unique artist. She managed to show the miseries of everyday life with absurd humor and a real warm optimistic and humanistic tendency. Ally Sheedy steals this movie with a terrific performance as a woman who has fallen over the edge. Male lead Reg Rodgers, looking like Judd Nelson, is fine. There is also a great cameo by Ben Vereen. The song at the end of the movie "The Bastard Song" written by Adrienne can stand as her optimistic eulogy:

"It's a world of suffering,

In a sea of pain,

No matter how much sun you bring,

You're pummeled by the rain...

Don't let the heartless get you down,

Don't greet the heartless at your door,

Don't live among the heartless"
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It will take you into the uncharted territory of original film-making
Amy Adler30 July 2007
Bill (Reg Rogers), a real estate salesman in New York City, is unexpectedly jilted by his beautiful, artistic wife. She runs off with a gentleman who purchased a nice house from Bill, in upstate New York. Totally in despair, Bill is doing badly at work and at home. His sister (Adrienne Shelley) decides to jolt her brother out of his funk by arranging for him to meet one of her old college friends, Bernice (Ally Sheedy). Bernice, however, is a bit of an odd duck and Bill insults her on their first date, causing her much pain. Yet, Bernice decides to get even, by kidnapping Bill and taking him on a car trip to visit her relatives. Will Bill be able to break free of Bernice's clutches? Will he want to? This is a very original film, with characters and a script that take the viewer into the realm of the unusual but satisfying world of offbeat movies. Sheedy is quite wonderful as the decidedly different woman and Rogers just fine as the heartbroken husband. The rest of the cast, including Shelley herself, who wrote and directed the film, are more than adequate. Given the probable budget constraints, the movie nevertheless looks great, with nice sets, costumes and amenities. If you have seen Shelley's Waitress and are looking backward to her other films, you will find this one an interesting first effort. Although it is not as successful or as universal as Waitress, no one could ever deem this flick as dull. Therefore, anyone who loves a departure from run of the mill movies will find this one easy to embrace.
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Dumped Husband Learns The Importance of "Being Where You Are"
erp-27 June 2002
Real cool, smart movie. I loved Sheedy's colors, especially the purple car. Alice Drummond is Wise And Wonderful as Stella. I liked Sheedy's reference to how her face had gotten fatter. The roadside dance scene is brilliant. Really liked this one.
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A accurate Portayal Of Grief
K7XC19 May 2002
I too have gone thru very painful personal loss (Twice) and this movie portrays the gut wrenching reality of that experience very well, Life out of balance, nothing makes sense, well meaning relatives, etc...

It was nice to see Ally again. She is one of my all time favorite movie actors.

I laughed and cried as the story unfolded. Great story and cast. Well done!
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Fantastically fresh, funny, moving, original movie
cloud-296 October 2000
This movie is wonderful. The writing, directing, acting all are fantastic. Very witty and clever script. Quality performances by actors, Ally Sheedy is strong and dynamic and delightfully quirky. Really original and heart-warmingly unpredicatable. The scenes are alive with fresh energy and really talented production.
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a witty exploration of the woes of post-martial life
bacchae2 December 1999
The influence of Hal Hartley in Adrienne Shelly's "I'll Take You There" is not overt, but clearly has ties to his work (Shelly has acted in two of Hartley's films). Not only does her film exhibit a very tight narrative, but the hyper-stylized and extreme characters strangely render human emotion in a very real light. Though this film is not ironic on the whole (thank God), the small and subtle ironies that pepper the piece allude to the bitter truths in love and loss. With beautiful cinematography and a soundtrack straight from the seventies, "I'll See You There" is a great indie-film that doesn't stoop to postmodern irony when dealing with the woes of love and the reality of human emotion.

The film begins with Bill's life falling to pieces. Not only has he sold his best friend Ray a beautiful country home, but his wife Rose has left him in order to join Ray in the retreat. All washed up, Bill wallows in his own gloom and doom until his sister Lucy (played by the director Adrienne Shelly) brings him all kinds of surprises: a self-help book and a "date" for her traumatized brother.

The unwilling Bill tries to refuse, but the sudden appearance of Bernice at his door leaves him no choice. No doubt Bernice's initially superficial demeanor and ridiculous hairstyle detract from his ability to "rebound" with her. However, her pseudo-hippie qualities annoy him so much that he lashes at her on their first date. And Bernice is so traumatized by his derogatory remarks that she attaches herself to him, forcing herself upon him. To what end, we are not aware... except for maybe the fact that she is psycho. (And who better to play the psycho than Ally Sheedy?)

Aware that Bill desperately wants to see Rose, Bernice offers her car, but on the condition that he take her somewhere first. On the way, she proceeds to hold Bill prisoner with his own gun (a Pinkerton Detective, no less). An imbroglio of angst, resentment, redemption, passion and violence ensue as Bill and Bernice find themselves on their way to the country home of Ray and Rose... of course, with a few stops along the way.
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Watch it... You don't regret...
shatguintruo27 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Certain movies never grow old.I saw this comedy (type pastry) in 2000 in rented VCR.At the time I had good laughs.Now reviewing the film I still find an excellent movie.Directed by Adrienne Shelly, she inspires the cast in a linear fashion, without letting this actor or that actor be prominent or compromising the scene, be it the melodramatic or comedy scene, for example in that scene where Bernice (Ally Sheedy) comes out playing the tuba in

New York, accompanied by one, now, enamored and conquered Bill (Reg Rogers).The musical background is one of the best I've heard, highlight "Bill Bailey Will not You Came Home?".A real pity that Adrienne Shelly

had died in such a tragic way and only the human stupidity may explain why she is not anymore among us. If she was, certainly in this just moment was making a good movie for us laugh and spend unpretentiously a couple of hours watching it.On a scale of 1 to 10, I vote 9 (excellent).
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quality romantic-comedy.
sinatra_ska2 December 2002
i would have to say that this is the first quality romantic-comedy i have ever seen. it had depth and although you knew from the beginning who was going to end up together there was still longing and anticipation. the thought that maybe they won't get together... it is an indie film after all. this movie was well written, directed and acted. the dancing on the side of the road scene was magnificent.
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Don't watch it.
JesX29 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
There are so many comments on this film, yet I found them to be misleading. This a corner-cutting, over-used scenario where a normal human being becomes a partner in crime to someone of the opposite sex for no apparent reason. Boy meets girl. Girl holds boy up at gunpoint for something ridiculous. Boy is intrigued.

You know the drill: The antagonist turns out to be a wild, free spirit instead of a sociopath... Toss in a few words of wisdom from Alice Drummond and you have a recipe for Love. Sheedy's 'is she crazy or does she just need a hug?' role from The Breakfast Club simply reeks as a lead character. And all that is left is a truly ghastly turkey of a movie.
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