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Frankie and Johnny (1991)
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Review Date: March 01, 2001
Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Terrence McNally
Producers: Garry Marshall, Nick Abdo
Actors:
Al Pacino
Michelle Pfeiffer
Hector Elizondo
Review:
I don't remember how this film was received at the time of its release, but for some reason or another, it's always been a quiet favorite of mine. I think it might have something to do with the whole concept of "loneliness" wallpapered throughout the entire movie, an idea which I've always been able to relate to myself.

The story isn't a new or original one by any means. Boy meets girl. Girl doesn't want boy. Boy nails girl's co-worker. Girl pays more attention. Boy keeps trying. Girl finally gives in. Boy and girl hook up (kind of).

The great thing about this movie is that it doesn't leave things clear cut. In fact, most of the conversations between the boy (Pacino) and girl (Pfeiffer) in this movie are complex and packed with insecurities and lead to even more questions. Why? Well, as it turns out, both of these folks have had it rough in life and Pfeiffer, especially is NOT ready to simply jump back into the arms of the first man who wants her.

Commendable yet understated performances from both stars, who threw their own vanities aside for this one, and let their true selves (okay, so they made them look WORSE than they really do!) come out.

Some people might blow this film off as a "downer" or even as a "corny" movie, which I could sorta see, but for me, the whole pessimistic attitude of the movie, made it just that much sweeter. You know, kinda like real life.

NO, not everything is cut and dry in life. NO, you are not just gonna fall for someone, rush down the aisle together and live happily ever after overnight! There are complications, there are experiences from your past, skeletons in your closet, etc and so forth.

I've also gotta send a major shout-out to Nathan Lane in this movie, perfecting the "gay best friend" thang like no other film that tagged along after it. In fact, I think this "gay best friend" was the first of the bunch. And howsabout that whole "spooning" scene...that says it all!

All in all, this movie touches me time and time again. It's NOT for everyone, it's a "bit" of a downer, it doesn't have much real "action" but it does provide for some great performances, an interesting look at lonely people and a lot of real honesty (despite some corniness, granted).
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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