Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nothing in Common (1986)

IMDb plot summary: A successful ad man (Hanks) must juggle his ever-demanding career while his parents' marriage breaks up.
Directed by Garry Marshall. Starring Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason, Eva Marie Saint, and Sela Ward.

(Mild spoilers about the ending.)

This movie is absolutely mislabeled. Everything I found about it as I was pulling stuff together for this review treated it as a comedy, when it's clearly a thoughtful family drama more than anything else. I wasn't entirely sold on this movie while I actually watched it, and perhaps it would be more accurate to say I admired it than that I liked it. The final scenes in particular are worthy of mention -- when the story takes a turn for the darker toward the end, each scene is really beautifully done, and each seems poignant and moving. I also appreciate that the narrative structure is different than a lazier version of this same story. The story, in fact, seems to end where others would begin, leaving just a sense of hope that this will be a good thing, no matter how difficult the relationship has been thus far.

My main concert was that since I couldn't get a sense at the beginning of the movie of where this was ultimately heading, it felt... somewhat scattered as I watched it. However, in hindsight, it was clearly leading to where it did, but I got a little antsy on the journey. This is one that feels almost unfair to write a review of after a first viewing, though, as I feel a rewatch would feel very different. So the ultimate ranking and star rating should be taken with a grain of salt.

3.5 stars.

Flickchart: #835 out of 2288, below The Absent-Minded Professor and above Hugo.

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