ADOPT A SAILOR
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Emmy® Award winners Bebe Neuwirth and Peter Coyote give phenomenal, critically-acclaimed performances in this witty, endearing comedy. When Patricia and Richard (Neuwirth and Coyote), a frazzled NYC couple, "adopt" a quiet young sailor (Ethan Peck, TV's 10 Things I Hate About You) from Turkey Scratch, AR during Fleet Week, embarrassing secrets are revealed--and tempers are tested--in a night the three will never forget!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Much of the production, though set in NY, was shot in Palm Springs.
Young Peck is astonishing in his sweet-natured optimism and his confident stillness. Dressed in crisp whites, it's easy to see him as an angel. In fact, some viewers are certain this was intended, but Evered is evasive.
Evered is a significant new writer/director to watch. Look for his latest film, A THOUSAND CUTS.
It is Fleet Week in New York, a time when sailors about to be shipped out to duty are given an evening of freedom with the option of accepting the invitation of families to invite them into their homes as a farewell. A young HM3 (navy corpsman) from Turkey Scratch, Arkansas played with poetic sensitivity by Ethan Peck (grandson of Gregory Peck) is serendipitously 'adopted' by a dysfunctional New York couple - Patricia (Bebe Neuwirth) runs a gallery and husband Richard (Peter Coyote) makes films. As Patricia responds to the sailor's wonder, 'Movies are what people what to go see, films are what you try to convince people to see' - evidence that Patricia has been supporting the marriage so that Richard doesn't have to work except to make unwanted films: the couple is nearing dissolution. Through one evening of conversation Patricia and Richard voice their failing love, the sailor maintains an innocence about life in the big city and in doing so shares some of his own small town fears and frustrations about becoming an adult- and the three people find a new look on their lives as a result. The film is at once hilarious, verbally brutal, revealing, and genuinely tender as these three people's lives intersect to find new and healthy direction.
Ethan Peck is absolutely extraordinary in maintaining his innocent near-angel role, never becoming mawkish or a parody of 'Southern uneducated kids'. He is a joy throughout the film and demonstrates that he is an actor of great promise. Bebe Neuwirth and Peter Coyote are both solid and polished actors and make us examine their decadent marriage without allowing the viewer to take sides but instead to ache for both of them. The film is a jewel and speaks especially loudly about the young lads who are being sent off to war. Charles Evered is a major talent to watch. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, December 10
Patricia (Neuwirth) comes closest to being a believable character; unlike the two men, she has more than one side: a sarcastic harridan who despises her ineffectual husband (like Martha in Woolf) and a sympathetic, even motherly woman who is aware of her own failings. Unfortunately, Neuwirth isn't well cast for either of those roles: she does sarcastic cold-hearted b!tch better than just about anybody, but when it comes to snarling and spitting like an enraged tigress (Liz Taylor's Martha), it's just acting with Neuwirth, and not very good acting.
Richard (Coyote) and Sailor (Peck) are so shallow and one-dimensional that it's surprising when they turn and you see they're not cardboard cutouts. Coyote's whining, thumb-sucking, new-age twit in this stupid movie is almost unbearable. Peck is a too-good-to-be-true angel unawares, a heavenly creature who drifts down off a cloud in his blinding-white sailor duds and his aw-shucks-y'all sincerity and sets Pat and Rich's world a-spinning. He's so perfect and squeaky-clean I kept wishing somebody would knock his teeth out, or that he'd turn out to have flaws like human beings have, but he never did.
Another reviewer said, "Adopt a Sailor seems sugary and contrived initially." I say it never becomes anything else, and by the end the sugar is SO thick there should be an automatic link to Woolf, or at least a clip—Liz with her hands on her hips braying her rage at the moon—to help viewers clear out the sour taste this shallow, saccharine, contrived, phony movie leaves.
in the end, I decided to come to terms with and respect what I think the "core" of this story is: Three people meet, have dinner, and change each others lives forever.