This film also cemented Jimmy Stewart as my all time favorite actor (yes, I cried when he passed). He and Donna Reed were just about perfectly cast, at least I can't think of a better pairing. And I cry every single time I see this amazing work of art. It is truly a must-see, one-of-a-kind quaintly classic movie and a priceless gem. And a real Christmas miracle kind of film. Everyone should see it, at least once, even if you must watch it chopped up by commercial interruptions on a major network (yes, I'll go even that far!!!).
Otherwise, this film was quite entertaining, even with the cliché California massage therapist that Juliette Lewis presented. (I'm a fifth generation Californian and take a bit of offense that we are often characterized as mashed turnip eating, chakra searching, yoga practicing, out-of-touch-w/-the-rest-of-the-planet nitwits!!!) Kevin Smith was his usual hilarious self, and some of the scenery is so beautiful as to make watching this film worthwhile in and of itself. Yes, it's a tad predictable, and like I said, I'd rather hogtie that child than watch him act out, but all in all, an entertaining and quite watchable romantic comedy.
The soundtrack was fantastic (Year of the Cat was one of my faves back then, so it was nice to hear it again) and the house in which the good doctor lived, well that was so perfectly telling (as if having a masturbatory room off his office didn't tell you all you needed to know about his mental health, or lack thereof). The cast was amazing and all played their roles with such authenticity, although that word hardly says enough about how I feel about each and every performance in this film. I think it was a thing of beauty and truth, but like I said, you probably had to live through the 70's in order to truly appreciate it (it was such a decade of following the threads from the unraveled fabric left by those wild and wacky 60's).
Anyway, I loved this film and would recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor, probably not anyone from a red state though (although we aren't supposed to use that red state/blue state stuff anymore, are we? Who cares... works for me).
Yes, this film was a bit formulaic; however, the writers and director are clearly a cut above your average romantic comedy artists. My gentleman friend said "good find" as credits rolled tonight, and he's pickier than I am. It was definitely and hour and a half well spent!
** SPOILER ALERT ** Thank you, too, Mark Wahlberg! Excellent performance. I felt the despair of Vince after his (short-sighted) wife left him so clearly. And the uncertainty of laying it all on the line to try out for your beloved Eagles; that was amazing. You all were faithful to that mid-70's vibe as well. It was huge for me that you included Jackson Browne's These Days as part of the soundtrack. That was one of my top two favorite songs in high school. The whole local boy makes good thing is always a joy to behold. This film has heart and soul and it bothers me that on comcast it rates only 2 stars (who are these critics, anyway?!?) - I'd give it a solid three and a half. If you love football and like a great underdog story, then this is the film for you! I so enjoyed it and send my thanks to all involved!
This show is for anyone who enjoys great television, but it is mostly for those of us who know what its like to not be truly free to be who and what we are without fear.
That said, it was like a car wreck that you don't want to see, but from which you simply cannot avert your eyes. Which is why I rated it as I did - had it not held me I'd have scored it much more harshly. Rarely have I seen a person so far afield from the concept of personal responsibility, which I realize is not the typical strong suit of your average addict, but I've known far more than my fair share of alkies and addicts, and this poor guy just seemed to feel that life/the employer/the wife/anyone close at hand was doing it to him! And I literally screamed at the set at one point where his son is terrified and sobbing "WILL YOU PLEASE give that poor child a hug?!!??!?" There is no doubt that the insanity that is addiction was accurately portrayed, but it was a bit much to take for the majority of the documentary. And did the wife EVER once go to Al Anon/Narc Anon? That made me want to pull my hair out as well, that she was helping him stay sick and cluelessly allowing herself to be miserable in the process.
All in all, I'd recommend it, but brace yourself. I kind of let it blind side me a bit, I suppose. And it was hard to watch. The last 5 to 10 minutes was my favorite part.
Hollywood seems to be very fond of the I, II and III (ad nauseum) versions of a number of its products; this film ought to have had a follow up (and if it does and I simply don't know, well then, my goof), but hey, you're all still around and it's not too late, is it??? I hope that more people will check out this film; I can't believe I didn't watch it sooner, being such a fan of the Cusack clan (Joan, your role may have been small, but you looked especially lovely in this role). Thanks to all who put their BS&T's into it!!!