6.1/10
599
28 user 27 critic

Big Bad Love (2001)

Vietnam veteran Leon Barlow is struggling as a writer, and his personal life isn't much better. His unsympathetic ex-wife Marilyn doesn't approve of his visits with his two children, and he... See full summary »

Director:

Arliss Howard

Writers:

Larry Brown (stories), James Howard (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An ad executive impersonates an archaeology professor to avoid a situation with an obsessed former lover. She enlists the help of a hapless archaeologist who is at the airport to pick the ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Vigne
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver, Ruth Westheimer
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A seeming good Samaritan (Debra Winger) hires a private detective (Nolte) to prove a teen sitting in prison on a murder charge is innocent. His investigation discovers deep corruption in a ... See full summary »

Director: Karel Reisz
Stars: Debra Winger, Nick Nolte, Will Patton
The Guys (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of a fire captain who lost eight men in the collapse of the World Trade Center and the editor who helps him prepare the eulogies he must deliver.

Director: Jim Simpson
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia, Irene Walsh
Wilder Napalm (1993)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Two brothers with the secret power of starting fires with their minds, reunite after years apart, only to find conflict with their differing lifestyles.

Director: Glenn Gordon Caron
Stars: Debra Winger, Dennis Quaid, Arliss Howard
Mike's Murder (1984)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

In L.A., a young woman tries to uncover what led to the brutal murder of her old flame and who killed him.

Director: James Bridges
Stars: Debra Winger, Mark Keyloun, Darrell Larson
Dawn Anna (TV Movie 2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The true story of a single mom who overcomes many of life's obstacles.

Director: Arliss Howard
Stars: Debra Winger, Alex Van, Sam Howard
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arliss Howard ... Barlow
Debra Winger ... Marilyn
Paul Le Mat ... Monroe
Rosanna Arquette ... Velma
Angie Dickinson ... Mrs. Barlow
Michael Parks ... Mr. Aaron
Alex Van ... Deputy
Zachary Moody Zachary Moody ... Alan
Olivia Kersey Olivia Kersey ... Alisha
Kevin Mitchell Kevin Mitchell ... Twin #1
Matt Mitchell Matt Mitchell ... Twin #2
Sue Peavey Sue Peavey ... Cindy
Michael Williamson Michael Williamson ... Young Barlow
Coleman Barks Coleman Barks ... Minister
Gloria Jackson Winters Gloria Jackson Winters ... Mrs. Shepard (as Gloria Winters)
Edit

Storyline

Vietnam veteran Leon Barlow is struggling as a writer, and his personal life isn't much better. His unsympathetic ex-wife Marilyn doesn't approve of his visits with his two children, and he has problems with alcohol. Yet even when Leon manages to catch up on alimony and child support payments, things in his life seem to decline further, until a sudden tragedy catches him off guard. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The staggering tale of one man's relentless pursuit of imperfection.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

IFC Films [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 2001 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Holly Springs, Mississippi, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,293, 24 February 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,420, 5 May 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Debra Winger's return to acting after a six year absence. See more »

Soundtracks

Sleepwalkin'
Performed by Tom Verlaine
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Creative, Puzzling, Complex, Ultimately Rewarding
3 March 2002 | by lawprofSee all my reviews

Arliss Howard acts and directs in "Big Bad Love" which he co-produced with his wife, Debra Winger. Ms. Winger returns to the screen as the former spouse of Howard. She delivers a performance that made me regret her hiatus away from the set. From a starting point as a more or less typical divorced mother with kids she develops her character into a wrenching portrait of both strength and vulnerability.

In a series of illusions, hallucinations and surreal flashbacks, wounded Vietnam vet Leon (Howard) devotes his life to three endeavors: fiction writing, drinking and attempting, through the fog of alcohol, to be a dad to his little boy and girl. His rejection notices are so many that even after wallpapering a room with them he needs a fifty-five gallon oil drum next to his desk to hold the rest. Voiceovers read the letters which contain just about every cliche from the canon of editorial rejection imaginable.

Leon seems to be welded to beer cans - except when he hits the hooch for a change. I don't think anyone writes coherently when he's three sheets to the wind but this guy can.

As a dad he is both devoted and distracted, the often exasperating but permanent part of many a divorced mom's life.

The setting is a rural part of Mississippi that some reviewers have described as beautiful but which I found desolate and depressing (but that's my Gotham viewpoint, no insult intended to the locals portrayed in this film).

Arliss's character, Leon, has a strong friendship with Monroe, a buddy from combat. Unfortunately the lubricant for their relationship inevitably leads to big time trouble. Without excess sentimentality, the two friends navigate a small world that presents minor pleasures and real disappointments. The friendship is deep and real but with a touch of middle-aged regression to adolescence.

The acting here is as strong as the Mississippi drawl. There is little predicability beyond the reality that NOTHING will stop Arliss from writing and sending his many, many manuscripts off to faceless editors, apparently all or mostly in New York.

This film needs a strong word-of-mouth boost to get the audiences it deserves and it'll probably mostly be seen on VHS and DVD. Howard's and Winger's strong and affecting acting offer, I hope, promises for a renewed future for both in film.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed