Review Date: August 24, 1998
Director: Ted Demme
Writer: Scott Rosenberg
Producers: Cary Woods
Timothy Hutton shines as the pillar within the group of misguided "adults" still caught up in their own adolescence, while Natalie Portman delivers the most dead-on performance as the witty, charming, and in my humble opinion, overly-literate 13-year old that you've ever seen. I love the script in all other regards, but a couple of the overly pretentious lines delivered by some of the characters (generally Portman), prevented me from completely falling for this film which touches most bases of relationships, and the fears of commitment. Why do we always seem to think that there may be someone better for us out there? Why can we not appreciate the people in our lives until it's too late?
This movie does not have all the answers, but it does offer many interesting observations, several classic scenes and funny moments, and a solid cast of colorful characters interesting enough to keep you engaged throughout its entire close to two-hour run. I also liked the fact that the ending did not close or open all doors, and instead, left you with a mixed sense of melancholic hope. Admittedly, not everyone will be as interested in this film as I was. I am in my twenty-somethings, and felt extremely in tune with most of the characters' thoughts, feelings and trepidations. You might not. Then again, if you've ever had a moment in your life when you felt like you could "do better" than the person with whom you were presently engaged, this movie is certainly one that'll further appetize your food for ample thought. This film may have been a small movie set in a small town, but its characters are earnest, its dialogue is smart and witty, and most of all, its heart is anything but small.