Sunday, June 22, 2014


Written & Directed By: Chris Columbus 
Cinematography By: Julio Macat 
Editor: Raja Gosnell & Peter Teschner 

Cast: John Candy, Ally Sheedy, Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Quinn, James Belushi, Kevin Dunn, Macauly Culkin, Kieran Culkin, Bert Remsen, Milo O’Shea

Danny, a cop, meets and falls in love with Theresa. They get engaged, despite sneaking around behind his mother's back, but when push comes to shove, he can't quite quit worrying about his mother long enough to be any kind of lover to Theresa.

Yes the premise is like the before how they met part of a sitcom. As we watch a overweight nice guy meet and fall in love with a beautiful girl. Who seems to like him back. Only here the girl is made to be normal looking and shy herself.

I can't help but admit I avoided this film many times overt came out. Once I saw it it got me hooked and became a film I really enjoy and can identify with. I think it's a film that is overlooked sure I has it's problems and feels too cut e and comedicly over the top a few times. I still think it is a hidden gem. That keeps an Upbeat attitude when other films like this seem to stick more to the dramatic side.

Though marketed as a comedy due to John Candy starring in it. This film is more like a light hearted drama with a few comedic set pieces.

It's nice to see the late john candy act and to be more serious and grounded in a role. Reign in his comedic personea. Which was always a nice guy thrown into crazy situations. Here he is just a nice guy, I ally motivated late in life. Who is a momma's boy. He gives a move understated performance. That hints at the dramatic potential he had always hinted at during the end of the film PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES. Though the comedic fantasies he has seem totally strange thy give insight to his fears and lighten up the film tone wise.

Maureen O'Hara is a force to be reckoned with in this film. She seems sweet, but comes off like a beast with her overbearing and manipulative ways and ferocious mouth. As an overzealous mother who is way too overprotective of her middle-aged son. She also has a tart tongue mixed in with her Non-politically correct cultural prejudices, As she is old school in her beliefs. This character and the situations this film provides seems like inspiration for many modern day sitcoms or takes it’s inspiration more from them at the time.

Maureen O'Hara refused to sign the movie contract, though she loved the script, until she met co-star John Candy. Fortunately the two of them instantly created a strong rapport and she hastily signed on the dotted line.

Chris Columbus wrote the script with actress Maureen O'Hara in mind for the role of the mother. Once casting had begun, he insisted on having O'Hara play the role and began a search for her. What he didn't know was that she had long since retired and was living on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Knowing her brother Charles B. Fitzsimons was still in the movie industry, Columbus contacted him and had a script sent. O'Hara's brother then sent the script to her and said, "This you do!" After reading the script herself, Maureen contacted her brother and said, "This I do!"

This marked Maureen O’Hara's first feature film role in 20 years (she had last appeared on the big screen in BIG JAKE and with the exception of three television films (1995, 1998 & 2000) it also turned out to be her final one as well.

The producers of the film did not include a trailer on location for Maureen O’Hara in their budget. John Candy was furious that the producers were showing someone of her stature such disrespect he gave her his own trailer. The producers finally caved in because they couldn't have Candy, the star of the film, without his own trailer.

Anthony Quinn show off a subdue charm as an older romantic neighbor. Who still has the skills and a crush on John candy's mother. The part of Doyle was originally meant to be played by Roddy McDowall

The film sets a nice tone. That feels like a classic film. While the film is truly low key and romantic it also includes the subjects of aging, responsibility and loneliness.

The film is a hidden gem that is easy to overlook. Sure it seems overly sweet, but it's a good time that carries life lessons and dramatic weight.

Director Chris Columbus is working in his wheelhouse and doing everything correctly firing away on all cylinders. Stepping away from fantasy. Here he is dealing with the magic and construction if human emotions. When it comes to romantic and family responsibility.

Living your own life. Stepping out of the shadows. Not letting anyone. Hold you back including family.

While the film provides awkward moments. It also has many cute moments that continuously dials down certain scenes and drains it of any true emotions or sense of truth that it seems heading for. Cute moments is part of the films charm. Showing the actions that match his feelings and how hard he wants not only to impress her, but be with her.Which then introduces the question of is it truly love that he is feeling? or just an escape from his routine and is just caught up in this new adventure and experience or if he truly has feelings for her.

The cast just has a great dynamic. This movie truly touched me. It affected me even before I would find myself in similar situations in life.

The heart of the film is almost camouflaged by all the crazy stuff that happens time to time there is a drama and a romance with truth in its heart thrown in underneath. The more comedic aspects of the film. I admire that especially in a studio film that seems straight off the assembly line. Since at the time that seemed to be what studios did withholds that had second or third tier stars.

It's a small story with big themes that you don't see coming. If you are not really into it's easy to write of as just another comedy, but if you pay attention. You Might be surprised how moving it is.

The laughs soften the blow of some painful truths the film brings up. Plus the awkwardness of the characters and the strength it takes for them to connect and truly speak to one another when they barely do it with the world.

Sure it feels like a fantasy, but is mostly. Added In a cute dressed hath reality for some of us.

It doesn't hurt that the film has Ally Sheedy becoming the co-romantic lead after all those brat pack films on her youth where I developed a up f crush on her. So seeing her here in this role was a kind of graduation to more adult minded ad deeper roles. Though usually still playing the oddball. --This is the only John Hughes film where he wasn't the writer. Though was involved with

I didn't expect much from the is film. I just wanted to see all the john Candy films I could around 1999. I watched this by even knowing my 80's crush Ally Sheedy was in this almost recognizable at first. I got more than I expected and found myself tearing up a little and really impressed by John candy's range. As usually he is the clown. Here he is finally a more full fledged Character. It offers him a chance to be dramatic and not the butt of jokes as was the usual role he was stuck in. The nice side sack who is forced to go through many embarrassments. Though usual had a nice ending. Here he gets to showcase a romantic and dramatic side and see him in a different light. It's a shame he never got too many more roles like this. I still miss and admire him. Some of his work as it was common for him to be the best thing in a lot of ok - subpar films. That are actually only passable die to him. While in his good films usually only a supporting role. He's an ingredient in the formula that makes the projects excel half the time.

You find yourself pulled in more and more to his plight and it's resolution. The film feels like a classic from yesteryear only updated

 Grade: B

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