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You Can Count On Me

DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 37.48
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Most helpful customer reviews
By larry
Format:VHS Tape
A small movie set in a small town delivers various big elements including top-notch performances from its two leads, extremely effective character development all around and a poignant message dipped with the importance of love, family, relationships and spirituality. This is obviously not a typical Hollywood picture and surely not for everyone, but definitely one to see for anyone who appreciates superior character studies, feels confused, overwhelmed or bored about their own life, and is curious about the familial foundation which supports this entire movie. This isn't a very upbeat film. It does contain a handful of lighter moments, but is basically a movie that feels sort of somber all the way through but doesn't ever really get boring. The force of the writing is the main reason for that, with the superior performances set forth by all, straddling in as a close second. Major kudos go out to Mark Ruffalo, who completely inhabits his role as the loose younger brother with the knack for getting into trouble, as well as Laura Linney, playing the full role of mother, sister, lover and employee to a tee. The excellent rapport between the two leads also makes you glad to be spending some time with them
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laura Linney gives a wonderful performance! Aug. 4 2002
By Ed N
Format:DVD
This is really a nice little film. It is probably just the type of good film you'd see at an independent film festival, like Sundance. In other words, it is a good example of the sort of quality film American audiences usually ignore while they lament the lack of such films. It is a pity, but then again, true film buffs will always find a way to discover these film for their true value. Basically, this is a movie about a long-absent brother who returns to his sister's home, where she lives with her son, and the family drama that ensues thereafter. Nothing mind-blowing, no special effects, just good and honest acting at its finest. Laura Linney is just so incredibly good in this movie, I don't know why she didn't win the Best Actress Oscar (at least she was nominated). She really created a believable (wonderful yet flawed) character. Matthew Broderick adds a slice of sly humor as her weasly boss.
The DVD itself is nicely done, no thrills or frills but competently done. If you like such films as "Ruby in Paradise" (Ashley Judd's first starring role and by far her best performance), "Ulee's Gold" (Peter Fonda's best performance in ages), "The Straight Story" (a G-rated David Lynch film, what will he think of next, but it is a masterpiece of FAMILY entertainment), "The Horse Whisperer" (Scarlett Johansson was so good in this film as the emotionally-scarred girl that the Academy Awards really dropped the ball when she wasn't nominated!), or "The Sweet Hereafter" (Atom Etoyan's masterpiece about loss), you will enjoy this film just fine! Give it a try! Or give any of the other films a try, too, as they are all (guaranteed!) far superior to whatever latest Hollywood special effects mishmash is bombarding the movie theaters today.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Somebody wake me when something happens July 1 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I'm sorry if the header is cruel, but I sat through this film twice just to see what I was missing. I still didn't find what all the praise was about. This is a well-meaning film that is well-written and well-acted to show ordinary people with ordinary situations they have to cope with in their lives. But that's the problem. Everything is too ordinary.
The main story is about what happens when a grown-up brother and sister are reunited after a lack of communication for awhile. He is somewhat of a drifter, and she is a single mom who works at a bank. The bond they share is that their parents were killed when they were young, and they've depended on each other for mutual support for many years. When the brother returns, she has to make a decision on whether it is a good or bad influence on the son. Complicating matters are the identity of the father of the child, the current dull boyfriend, and a new boss so finicky he needs standard computer screen colors for his entire staff.
I'm looking at these events compared to those of my own life. I have four children, and it seems like every week we have some kind of crisis that makes anything that happens in the movie seem tame. I mean, her brother takes the kid out to a pool hall. Maybe if he were turning the kid on to the pot he smokes in the movie it would be a big thing, but I find myself saying that this woman has no problems.
While the portrayal of her new boss is dead-on accurate, I myself has a boss that makes this one look like Jim Belushi. I live with my situation, and once again, I'm trying to find out what the problem is here. For the record, I'm not having an affair with my boss, and I guess showing her having her affair is to show her as a flawed, human character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Movies of the New Century May 5 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I don't exactly get to see every movie that comes out in theatres, so I'm probably making an inappropiately definitive statement with my title. But "You Can Count on Me" is such a beautiful movie that its hard to think of more than a few films that are in its league. It is very simple--a brother returns home to his sister's house in upstate New York, where she lives with her 8-year old son. The movie follows their relationship from there. Obviously, this was an independent film--I believe it premiered at Sundance. There is no violence in the movie, and very little profanity (the R rating is ridiculous--Valenti must drink some of his homemade magic brew before he and the MPAA sit down and rate these things). It is about people. There isn't a lot of plot, a relief in a glut of blockbusters in which every single line of dialogue is used to advance the story, and where we never develop more than a half-hearted connection with the people in it.
I'm stomping on pounded baseball dirt with that comment, I know. But this film really enhances the power of movies to depict real-life people and follow their various crises and situations. The main characters--the sister looks like Jim Carrey's fake wife from "The Truman Show" and the brother looks like that dude from "The Last Castle"(sorry--Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo)--are complex, with flaws and weaknesses. The brother occasionally smokes drugs, and isn't exactly free from the clingy dusts of prison walls, if you know what I mean. The sister has an affair with her married boss, played by Matthew Broderick, the most recognizable actor in the whole thing (if you discount Rory Culkin, who some people may think is Macauly Culkin unaged, like Jonathan Lipnicki).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to become a classic...
This is a truly wonderful movie that any mature adult who has struggled with complicated life situations can appreciate. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2002 by Matt Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily Good
This is simply one of the best written and acted films I've ever seen. Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney, Matthew Broderick, and Jon Tenney, who plays Linney's erstwhile boyfriend Bob,... Read more
Published on July 19 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST THAT HOLLYWEIRD CAN PRODUCE
This movie is a movie about 30 year olds with a three year old mentality. I take that back. They
are amoeba, moving about seeking pleasure, food and sex. Read more
Published on July 2 2002 by D.W.St.John, Editor, elderberrypress.com
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves All The Praise!
This is a movie about human relationships. It is well written. Well acted. Well made. It is the sort of film that would have been much less exceptional had it come out in the... Read more
Published on March 27 2002 by Peter Shilpot Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive, intelligent, very human film
We have become so used to the loud, high tech movies that Hollywood cranks out these days that when a quiet, gentle, story-driven movie like You Can Count on Me comes along, we... Read more
Published on March 15 2002 by Matthew Horner
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous independent film
If there is one thing that is striking about this film it is the sheer believability of it. This is an extremely human story stripped down to everyday realities in the lives of... Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2002 by "flickjunkie"
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Many Dramas Will I Sit Thru Twice ... Consecutively!
Largely a science fiction and/or action and/or blockbuster comedy person, I still read the newspaper reviews on YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, a small film from Paramount Classics that was... Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2002 by E. Lee Zimmerman
4.0 out of 5 stars Relation to Real life
This film relates to average life in many ways. From the family screw-up who wants to leave the small town, the single mother who worries about everyone but herself, and the weasly... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2002 by Lisa Marie Engelken
4.0 out of 5 stars easy to recommend
I have no problems recommending this movie. Laura Linney certainly proved herself worthy of her Oscar Buzz, but Mark Ruffalo really took the cake. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2002 by Benjamin K. Potter
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