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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Movie With Intense Character Studies Throughout...
"The Accidental Tourist" Hmmm... even the title of the film has many meanings. Unhappily married couple, Macon Leary,(William Hurt)a travel guide author and Sarah Leary (Kathleen Turner) have just lost their young son Ethan to an accident. Each of them goes through the grief process alone and thus, the marriage is quite dead. They separate, with Sarah leaving Macon in...
Published on May 24 2004 by Sheila Chilcote-Collins

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT DIALOGUE & ACTING, BUT A SAPPY WANNABE FILM OVERALL
Somewhat like "Ordinary People", and made around the same time, this film is about dealing with a great loss, starting over, finding happiness...yada yada. Starts off well enough, but you soon realize that the story is not really going places. Instead of having music in the background all the time as in most films, Lawrence Kasdan thought it wise to let the...
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by Shashank Tripathi


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Movie With Intense Character Studies Throughout..., May 24 2004
By 
Sheila Chilcote-Collins "Sheila Renee Chilcot... (Collinswood, Van Wert, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Accidental Tourist (DVD)
"The Accidental Tourist" Hmmm... even the title of the film has many meanings. Unhappily married couple, Macon Leary,(William Hurt)a travel guide author and Sarah Leary (Kathleen Turner) have just lost their young son Ethan to an accident. Each of them goes through the grief process alone and thus, the marriage is quite dead. They separate, with Sarah leaving Macon in the big, old empty Victorian house alone, save for Ethan's badly behaved dog, a Welsh corgie named Edward. When Edward misbehaves, Macon just can't get rid of the dog because it reminds him of the good times that Ethan had with Edward. So, Macon takes the dog to obedience school and meets a very ecentric young woman named Muriel Pritchett. Muriel is a young divorcee with a very sickly little boy, named Alexander (Robert Hy Gorman in a very nice portrayal for a little guy). Muriel pursues Macon, a sexual relationship ensues and Macon opens up for the first time about his sorrow for Ethan. There comes a time when macon has to decide what he wants as Sarah returns to the homeplace and wants to try again.
Amy Wright, David Ogden Stiers, and Ed Begley Jr. all turn in WONDERFUL performances as Macon's odd siblings who live together in the family home that they grew up in. Bill Pullman also turns in a great performance as Julian, Macon's publisher.
This is a wonderful character study of families, their hurt, disappointment and finally, reconciliation. The film is strongly written and well acted. If you are looking for a funny romance like, "When Harry Met Sally", a spooky romance like "Ghost" or a treacly, sappy sweet romance like "Sabrina", then you are looking in the wrong place. If you like to see characters that pluck at your heart strings and seem "oh so real" then this is a movie for YOU! Highly recommended!
Happy Watching!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT DIALOGUE & ACTING, BUT A SAPPY WANNABE FILM OVERALL, Feb. 20 2004
By 
Shashank Tripathi (Gadabout) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Accidental Tourist (DVD)
Somewhat like "Ordinary People", and made around the same time, this film is about dealing with a great loss, starting over, finding happiness...yada yada. Starts off well enough, but you soon realize that the story is not really going places. Instead of having music in the background all the time as in most films, Lawrence Kasdan thought it wise to let the silence speak and describe the life of the characters.
The performances and the dialog however are what make it worth a watch. Bill Hurt is his normal bumbling self (which makes one wonder why the jovial character of Geena Davis pursues him so aggressively) and Kate Turner is the same drug she always has been. Despite an occasional stunning line or two, the theme seemed too drawn out and contrived to me.
I especially did not like the denouement, where the man has to make a choice between two possibly equally unattractive options (unattractive for different reasons -- one a pestulent wife and the other a nagging girlfriend) but I guess it does bring out the ordinary in us. At the end of the day, we pick whatever makes us happy.
A word about the name of the film. The thinly disguised metaphor that Bill Hurt's character is a tourist in his own journey through life, becomes instead a bad practical joke. The joke is that the real accidental tourist in the film is in fact the viewer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rarity: Real Character Development, May 19 2004
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This review is from: The Accidental Tourist (DVD)
This is one of my favorite all time films. If you're looking for action, this is not the film for you (there isn't any). If you're looking for suspense, look elsewhere (there's not much). But if you're looking for engaging characters in a plot that makes you think and is both touching and humorous, this is the movie for you.
It's rare that Hollywood produces a movie that respects its audience enough to let them think. This is a movie with so many interesting characters that they could have made several movies. After you watch it, you'll find yourself wondering about the characters' lives before the movie -- and what will happen to them later.
When you're in the mood for something serious, funny and intellectual, this is a good movie to choose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A DVD that does justice to a great film, April 22 2004
By 
Richard J. Williams (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Accidental Tourist (DVD)
In When Harry Met Sally, or Groundhog Day we follow the characters on a journey of exploration as their relationship develops. Macon Leary, in The Accidental Tourist, sets out on just such a journey, but one in which, as the title suggests, he is at the mercy of unforeseen events - the loss of his son, leading to the departure of his wife, and the misbehaviour of his son's dog, which forces him to turn to Muriel, a dog trainer.
They differ in almost every way. He is in his forties, married his first real girlfriend and now writes travel books for businessmen who would rather stay at home; she is much younger, left high school to marry, and since her divorce has to juggle jobs to support a sickly son.
In the reverse of the usual situation, it is she who pursues him, eventually winning him over when, thanks to her sympathetic response, he is able to confess for the first time his anguish at the loss of his son. From then on he is torn between the two women until, on a trip to Paris, he decides the direction of his life for the first time.
Although the spotlight is on these two, we also meet Macon's eccentric siblings who still live in the house where they grew up and follow the equally unlikely romance between his sister and publisher.
The film is faithfully adapted from Anne Tyler's excellent Baltimore set novel. Geena Davis won a well-deserved Oscar as Muriel (and contributes a commentary on selected scenes that reveals how eager she was to play the part). William Hurt had an even more difficult task in playing Macon, a man so repressed that he appears emotionless. Although technically a co-star, Kathleen Turner has to make the best of the lesser role of Macon's wife Sarah.
Amy Wright as Macon's sister Rose catches the quirkiness of her character while avoiding caricature, as do Ed Begley Jr and David Ogden Stiers as her brothers. Bill Pullman's publisher is equally believable. And John Williams proves his versatility by contributing a wistful theme that runs throughout the film.
As well as the film itself, in the original Cinemascope format, the DVD includes a generous helping of deleted scenes, an introduction by director, co-writer and co-producer Lawrence Kasdan, and a featurette with contributions from him and others involved in the making of the film.
This is one of my favourite films, and one that, even after many viewings, I enjoy more than ever. Definitely worthy of five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He Can Help You Find the Best Burger King in Paris, Jan. 28 2004
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This review is from: The Accidental Tourist (DVD)
I was in a local Baltimore theatre when I first heard a minor character from the movie, "The Accidental Tourist", proudly announce "Baltimore...greatest city on Earth!" The audience loudly cheered and so began my fondness for this gentle, comedy/drama based on the Anne Tyler novel of the same name.I'm delighted, that this funny, yet emotionally moving film has at long last made it to the DVD format.In the story we meet Macon Leary (William Hurt), a travel writer (for business men who hate to travel), who has basically given up on life, because his young son has been killed in a senseless robbery. Macon has become almost like a 'ghost' going through just the motions of life, emotionally untouched by anything or anyone. His wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner) leaves him because he is not there for her and she needs to get beyond mourning. Alone, Macon seems to be spiraling into a depression without end.That is until, through a series of humorous events (and a very angry dog), Macon meets a quirky, unusually dressed, dog trainer named, Muriel (Geena Davis). Muriel romantically pursues the depressed writer and eventually puts him on the road to joining life again. Screen Writer/Director, Lawrence Kasden has created a emotional film, that has a wonderful sense of oddball humor.The movie has great characters, that are brought to life by a wonderful cast. This includes actress, Geena Davis, who deservedly won an Oscar for her role of the pluckish and romantically determined, Muriel. Davis has created an amusing character, who definitely marches to her own drummer.I can personally attest to the fact, that there are many folks living in Baltimore, who closly resemble her (for more info on Baltimore's more unusual citizens, check out the book "Shock Value" by John Waters). Kudos should also go to actors, Amy Wright, David Odgen Stiers and Ed Begly Jr., who provide big laughs as Macon's rather eccentric siblings.Finally, Bill Pullman gives a good performance as Macon's love lorn publisher, who yearns for an old fashion marriage.The DVD for this film is well done with a fine picture transfer and a good amount of extras. They include an inciteful featurette "It's Like Life", which shows both new and old interviews from the Director and the cast.The DVD also includes the trailer and more then a half hour's worth of deleted scenes, that shed new light on the story and it's characters. This is wonderful film about how you just can't prepare yourself for life. You just got to let it happen!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's no accident that this is a great film!, Jan. 28 2004
By 
R. L. Pulliam "no lemming, I" (Oakland, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Accidental Tourist (DVD)
At last, "The Accidental Tourist" has been transferred to DVD by Warner Brothers and it's a beauty.
The disc is enhanced for anamorphic widescreen TVs. There are no audio choices to make...what you hear is all you get.
However, they've done a superlative job on the picture AND the audio. The audio seems to be coming from the front/middle speakers (is that a mono mix?)while Macon Leary's narratives as "The Accidental Tourist" predominantly comes out of my right speaker (I have a 5-speaker surround setup). The music comes out of the left and right speakers and is spacious. All audio seems to be in perfect balance requiring no adjustments from this viewer.
This is a rich, rewarding movie and its music score by John Williams is a superb example of monothematic scoring (a basic theme that is cast in variations throughout the film).
There are many deleted scenes which really seem to come from a different movie. They would have added at least 30-plus minutes to the film. Characters are introduced, one of whom is referred to in the film (Dominick) and one of whom is mentioned in passing (Alicia, mother of the Learys). Kathleen Turner lost some really good scenes, I think. The deleted scenes give her a softer tone than what we see in the film.
On a scale of one to five, I give this DVD a five. I'm delighted with it and by it. There is a documentary feature called "It's Like Life" that has various of the film's major participants discussing it and their roles. William Hurt, alas, is not among them but he is spoken of glowingly by Davis and Turner. The DVD also has a Geena Davis scene-specific commentary. (This is not an option while watching the film).
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4.0 out of 5 stars No need to Marshall Fine excuses, Nov. 25 2003
By 
Karl Matz "drlit" (Mankato, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Accidental Tourist (VHS Tape)
The "editorial review" for this wonderful character study was written by Marshall Fine, a Sioux Falls, SD newspaper critic who hates everything. Pay him no mind. In film and theatre critique one draws more readers with vinegar than honey. But enough on that. Even though Accidental Tourist has no car crashes and no blood and no grimacing Rambo screaming as he wins the VietNam War singlehandedly, it is not merely a chick flick. It has pathos, it has rich characters, vividly drawn; it has sad drama and many tender laughs (Gena Davis singing, "I'm Gonna Bop Bop Santa Claus" for example). Macon Leary is a subdued, somewhat anal-retentive travel guide writer whose son was murdered in a fast food restaurant robbery. The tragedy destroyed his wife and ultimately his marriage. Now he must learn to travel through a world not of his own making - an Accidental Tourist. When we meet his quirky family we see he is not the dimmest candle on the cake by any means. Yet an oddly wonderful woman refuses to let him live his life as a ghost. Like all good stories of people, Macon grows, learns and changes. Those who have seen William Hurt in other films will KNOW the downplayed, lethargic portrayal is INTENDED and those who have met such empty souls will see that this portrayal is AUTHENTIC. A brilliant tale, skillfully wrought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Story of Life, Aug. 18 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Accidental Tourist (VHS Tape)
William Hurt is absolutely brilliant as a man insulated from his own life in Lawrence Kasden's undervalued masterwork. Hurt's son has been killed in a random act of violence he can not understand. It will cost him his marriage to Kathleen Turner, as he is unable to comfort her, accepting evil in the world and isolating himself from love in an effort to shield himself from pain.
Hurt writes a series of books for the "accidental tourist" and Bill Pullman gives fine support as his understanding editor and friend. Hurt's family is a little strange and in spite of the serious subject matter Kasden has sprinkled this film with some very funny true to life moments, including an hysterical bit about cooking a Thanksgiving turkey at the right temperature, or not!
Geena Davis, as the free spirit who attempts to aleve Hurt's anguish, won a well deserved Oscar for the effort. Her little boy, sweet and allergic to everything, is a reminder of his own son. This prompts him to accept a brief, unsuccessful, reconciliation with Turner which may cost him everything.
The supporting cast and the understated score add to this wonderful and heartrending account of one mans' angst, and his attempt to start living again. The scene in a doorway where he expresses his inability to be like other people is tremendously touching. Her kindness and personal generosity finally begin to wear down the walls and he may just be able to love again, if it is not to late.
This is a richly rewarding film for those willing to take the time and I highly recommend it. It is a testament to our own humanity, the human spirit, and the healing power of love...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well done with very few accidents, May 13 2002
By 
Lauren Maffeo (Natick, Ma United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Accidental Tourist (VHS Tape)
"The Accidental Tourist" tries to accomplish something that not many movies attempt to do at the risk of failure. Instead of having a soundtrack in the background, there is...well, except for a few instrumentals, nothing. The director seems to be aiming to show the viewer how much silence can attribute to a picture. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work. The movie was TOO quiet and sullen without sappy love ballads to die it together. The picture also seems vague and dark, creating a feeling of despair that the characters themselves feel. Had these two flaws not been in here, the movie would've been practically perfect.
The movie starts off with Sarah[Kathleen Turner], a mother whose 12-year-old son was murdered over a year ago, telling her husband Macon[William Hurt] that she wants a divorce. This, of course, leaves Macon totally distraught-not only are his wife and son gone, his dog Edward is distraught himself over the loss of his companion. As Macon leaves Edward at a pet shop, he comes across the owner and doesn't know quite what to think. If first impressions count, Macon and viewer will both be puzzled at their first glimpses of Muriel[Geena Davis]. She is certainly unique[her wardrobe will tell you that], but she has got to be one of the heartwarming women on the planet. Macon tries to dismiss her after he takes Edward back, but Muriel and Edward know differently. Muriel persists by calling him to check up on Edward, but also to check on Macon too. Finally, Edward is the cause of Macon breaking his leg, and Muriel is called on to train Edward. With her kind characteristics and gentle manner, she wins Edward over with ease [I can still hear her clucking, her trademark for training]. Now all she has to do is win over Macon, who is living with his sister among other family members. This takes time, but somehow Macon is visiting Muriel regularly at her apartment, and after a night together in her apartment, which is a love scene at its best [don't worry, it's not because of nudity or anything around that], they live together. Muriel also has a tiny, sickly son, Alexander, and Macon begins to bond with him as well. But Macon and Muriel's relationship is still awkward; Muriel can't feel totally safe with him, and Macon still has a longing for Sarah. Muriel is afraid she'll love him and lose him, and this kills her. She begs him, "Don't leave me Macon" when he travels. The picture gets very complicated, however, when Sarah decides that maybe she was wrong to leave Macon, and the debate reaches its peak. By the end of the movie, Macon is in Paris, and both women are there as well. Don't worry, there is no emotional showdown between the almost ex-wife and the girlfriend, but Macon is about ready to jump off his balcony when, finally, he reaches a conclusion.
As I said earlier, the mood for the film is dark and gloomy to fit Macon's mood. It's too bad it didn't work, but it's not enough to totally bring down the movie. Kathleen Turner shows the emotions needed to play Sarah, but as she isn't in the movie a whole lot, her character doesn't really have a whole lot of tiem to develop. I did not, however care for William Hurt in the movie. I don't know, I just could see other actors in this role doing it better. His character was unsure, yes, but he came as mostly unsympathetic to Muriel, and you can't really tell his true feelings. He was a bit too cold, I thought, which added to the gloom. But, I will still recommend this film with two words in mind: Geena Davis. If anything, see this film for her performance, which is so real and genuine. She plays Muriel to absolute perfection, as she portrays her emotional cords[becoming, in one scene, extremely frusterated with Macon because she can't understand gim], her sensitive side[holding Macon as he grieves over his son and then gently guiding him to bed], and her somewhat wacky side[belting, and I mean BELTING out a song while washing the dishes. Davis is actually not to be ashamed of her singing, she's better than most actors!] There is no doubt in my mind that she deserved her Oscar, it was well-won. Not only do I like Geena Davis as an actress, I really enjoyed watching the character Muriel, who was unusual, a rebel, but nevertheless determined and hopeful. Why can't the world be populated with more people like her?
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top five movies of all time, May 14 2001
By 
Brian D. Shearer (Des Moines, IA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Accidental Tourist (VHS Tape)
While it has been criticized for it's slow, quiet pace, this is one of the most bold and heroic stories ever put on film.
Years ago I was swept away by Anne Tyler's novel, and was hesitant to see the movie (knowing movie adaptations of novels almost always disappoint.) I found myself instead swept away in new and different ways by the movie, which is incredibly true to the narrative of the novel.
What Macon Leary is going through would not be described as depression as much as recession...pulling away from his life, falling deeper into himself where it is small and quiet and safe, far away from the world that had murdered his son. This drives his wife away from him, leaving him to spiral more deeply into himself until the unexpected hand of a quirky dog trainer pulls him up and out of himself. When Macon reunites with his estranged wife he begins to tumble back in on himself until he discovers that it's not only how much you love somebody, but who you are when you're with that person that matters the most.
William Hurt's narration over various scenes in this film ad a layer to it that could never have been achieved in the novel.
This film is a must see for any student of the human condition.
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The Accidental Tourist
The Accidental Tourist by Lawrence Kasdan (DVD - 2004)
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