Wednesday, December 12, 2007

North

North; Comedy, USA, 1994; D: Rob Reiner, S: Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Jon Lovitz, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Marc Shaiman, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Graham Greene, Kathy Bates, Kelly McGillis, John Ritter, Scarlett Johansson

Brother of East and West, North is a rather ambitious little boy: he is the star of the baseball team, very good in school, his plays are acclaimed. When he divorces from his parents, he starts searching for his new ones: in Texas he is not satisfied becoming a cowboy, on Hawaii they want him only for tourists, on North Pole there are no kids to play with, a Chinese family wants him to change his hairdo, while he can't speak French in a French family. All that time he is accompanied by some nameless man who helps him out. In the meantime, all the parents are afraid their kids will leave them too, so they serve them as best as they can, while North's colleague wants to use this to rule the world. In the end, North returns to his parents and wakes up: it was all a dream.

Enigmatic fantasy family comedy "North" was directed by Rob Reiner, many of whose films, like "A Few Good Men" or "Stand by Me" became huge hits, yet many don't even know that "North" exists. It's a forgotten film, and little to no points beg to differ since it's a thin film that's based on a unusual plot concept about a little kid "divorcing his parents", which could have worked as a 5 minute sketch, but never as a feature length film as it is. Still, despite the fact that it's a rather pointless film with little emotions, many critics were simply to harsh towards it since it never plunges into trash or irritating mess due to it's discipline tone. In the exposition there are 4 scenes that roughly establish North's talents (baseball, plays, good grades in school) while in one scene some parents are even protesting in front of Mt. Rushmore: maybe it's just a coincidence, but Wes Anderson's "Rushmore" seemingly used that exposition and transformed it into something more inventive, showing it's hero as a child prodigy with numerous talents in numerous scenes, while here the authors managed to put only 4. Many famous actors, from Dan Aykroyd up to John Ritter in the roles of North's potential parents just talk dry and conventional dialogues that are just there to establish the cheap message that "there's no place like home", while Bruce Willis even shows up in a pink rabbit suit in once scene! It's a rather sufficient film and the critics were really too harsh towards it, even though the only great thing in it is it's imaginative poster.

Grade:+

1 comment:

J Luis Rivera said...

"North" would be my definition of a bland movie. Not bad, but nothing really good, just forgettable. I think the critics were exaggeratedly harsh with this one, as it's not really a movie on say, Uwe Boll's level.