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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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When I first saw this film I really liked it, mainly because it wasn't a formula film and I couldn't begin to figure out what would happen next. I hadn't seen anything like this for years: it was like a 1930s domestic comedy - driven by character and dialogue, rather than by action. The film was based on a 1985 Pulitzer-nominated novel by Anne Tyler, (I liked the film so much I went out and read the novel and now Anne Tyler is one of my favourite novelists.)

The actors playing the central characters - William Hurt as Macon Leary, Kathleen Turner as his wife and Geena Davis all give really good performances. Davis's portrayal of whacky Muriel Pritchett won her an Oscar for best supporting actress, but Hurt and Turner, playing a couple traumatised by the tragic death of their young son, are much less 'animated' and more subtle, and totally believable. Indeed Hurt plays his part as though he is sleep walking and still manages to earn our sympathy. The supporting cast also shines, particularly Leary's sister and brothers and Pritchett's young son. Lawrence Kasdan's direction is fairly low-key but brilliantly catches all the nuances of this family saga and the film really deserved its Oscar nomination for best picture.
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on 15 April 2012
(THE FILM):
William Hurt and Kathleen Turner join Geena Davis, in the bittersweet comedy about a travel writer's unlikely new romance.

After the death of his son, Macon Leary, a travel writer, seems to be sleep walking through life. Macon's wife, seems to be having trouble too, and thinks it would be best if the two would just split up. After the break up, Macon meets a strange outgoing woman, who seems to bring him back down to earth. After starting a relationship with the outgoing woman, Macon's wife seems to think that their marriage is still worth a try. Macon is then forced to deal many decisions.
WHAT CAN I SAY?
This is a wonderful film by Lawrence Kasdan about a man who withdraws from his relationships with other people and the world after a terrible family tragedy. William Hurt plays the character of 'Macon', a man who writes books for people who don't want to travel and has become as grey and dull as his suit. His wife Sarah the vibrant Kathleen Turner separates from him and after an accident he goes to live with his family who live a life organised by his sister, Rose (Amy Wright) and settles into a dull routine. Even his dog seems to be turning against him, then he meets Muriel (Geena Davis) when boarding his dog and she not only teaches the dog new tricks but also shows Macon that his ways can be changed too.But Geena Davis really takes advantage of each moment and lights up every scene she's in. She's perfectly cast as the kitschy, free-spirited dog trainer and was well deserving of her `Best Supporting Actress' Oscar win.
Accidental Tourist is very much in the same mood as The big Chill and Grand Canyon Lawrence Kasdan has let the silence speak and describe the life of the characters.
The direction is subtle and well judged and the use of scene is very sophisticated in places. The director handles the three stars very well and they respond, as you would expect, in consistent and persuasive performances William Hurt gives a truly marvellous performance The character never utters a word who could confirm that, and yet is there, ever present, if you look deep, deep into his eyes. as a man who has given up on life and has become almost catatonic. This is a film that gets better with each subsequent viewing, containing much food for thought especially for anyone that wishes for a 'safe' and 'planned' life.
The wonderful dreamlike score is by John Williams.
which makes this a wonderful and so touching movie so worthy of repeated viewing.
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on 18 December 2006
This is a wonderfully touching portait of a man, Hurt, who cannot grieve for his dead son and eventually ends up losing his marriage as well.

He writes travel books for people who hate travelling. For a while, after an accident, he goes back to the family home where his two dysfunctional brothers and sisters live cut off from the outside world.

Then he meets a dog trainer, Geena Davis who is both wonderfully whacky and vulnerable and a rocky romance begins. As this is a Kasdan film nothing is ever straight forward, like real life really.

Superbly acted by Hurt, Davis and Turner.
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on 12 July 2013
This film won a lot of awards and if you open script-writing textbooks or certain academic film books its name will appear. This combined with the classic romantic comedy style poster and the word funny appearing 3 times in the blurb and quotes lead me to believe the film would be quite mainstream and classical.
However, what makes it so interesting is that it isn't really those things. It is in fact really dark, melancholy and tragic. I mean all those things in a positive way but it really caught me off guard as its reputation doesn't suggest what would be today classed as a dark indie movie. It is about grief and loss and cutting yourself off from the world so it can't hurt you again.
Never been a fan of William Hurt, always found him unemotional and unengaging and never understood why he kept getting work. The Accidental Tourist is the reason why because he is really brilliant in this film and gives a magnificent and unique performance and completely changed my opinion of the guy.
The rest of the cast are also great with Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis and Bill Pullman all on top form. The film does have funny moments in it but in a quirky indie way brought out of awkward situations with the protagonists strange but enchanting family and really well written dialogue with Geena Davis getting all the best lines. Plus there is a comedic dog which always helps a film.
So it does have funny moments and its narrative does follow a romantic struggle but I stand by the fact that it is a really mature look at melancholy, depression and trying to live again after experiencing terrible loss. A must see film but much darker and tragic than it's reputation suggests.
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on 8 February 2016
The film is glorious and is easily a 5 star rating. I dropped a star due to the poor quality as it's in need of remastering. Amazon states HD for its streaming download but it is quite a poor picture. There is notable distortion with the soundtrack too, particularly during the final few bars of John Williams' beautiful music score.

Hopefully Criterion will give it the deluxe treatment it deserves.
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on 29 December 2011
Having read the book by Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist, which is excellent, we wanted to try the film. The director has had to condense the story, so many incidents/characters that are in the book could not be used or only in passing. However, the spirit of the story is preserved, albeit in a more melancholy way. The characters' foibles are no longer a source of ridicule but rather more sympathy. The acting is perfect, as you would expect from such talented artists and the danger of corniness is avoided. But, whereas the book leaves the reader rather perplexed at the end, the film clarifies people's motives in a satisfying way.
The director has opted for a light touch and a sobriety of effects which add to the beauty of the experience. Totally engrossing! JGF
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 March 2016
A study of a difficult, antisocial man who is "set in his groove", and the film follows how he reacts and behaves when put in new life situations that are well outside his normal groove.

Although the lead isn't very likeable, that is the role he is meant to play and the acting is brilliant. The star-studded supporting cast is also very good (and more likeable too; they make the film far more enjoyable! Particularly Geena Davis's character). I found this movie to have an interesting story and I almost enjoyed the challenge of trying to empathise with and figure out the lead.

I'd recommend this film to anyone who enjoys in-depth looks at unconventional people and if you're fascinated by psychology.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 February 2011
By heck! No one says that anymore do they, but after watching The Accidental Tourist it seems the only fitting response.

The film is so weird it almost gets 3-stars just for the curiosity value. William Hurt plays the world's most tedious man; actually the third most tedious since the character's brothers are even worse. His son has been killed and his wife has left him because he drains the life out of her. He shrugs and goes back to work. What does he do? He writes travel guides for people who don't like to travel. So his work is going on vacation and deliberately not enjoying it.

Things begin to change when he meets Geena Davis, an irrepressible dog trainer who invites herself into his life and warms it up. God knows why she wants to. Eventually his wife comes back on the scene and a decision has to be made: a decision - the last thing he's capable of.

The scenes involving the man's editor - played by Bill Pullman - dropping by and gasping at the wonder of the insanely insulated family of grown-up siblings who can't seem to function outside the orderly home environment, have some comedic value. So does the scene where Hurt breaks his leg. For the rest, I think this film could make you want to join the insurgents. Americans who are either annoyingly kooky or pathetically insular. Hurt's character is very frustrating, but one can't deny he's played with aplomb: one breathes a huge sigh of relief when he finally comes to his senses. No doubt this movie helped spawn the now familiar romcoms about ditzy women freeing uptight men (or should we thank Bringing Up Baby for that?) and all credit to Geena Davis for not making her character the sort who's too whacky to be borne.

What should be a good demonstration of the importance of breaking out of familiar patterns did at least give me the resolve to switch off the set.

By heck!
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on 12 September 2011
Fancy getting away from the froth and clangour of modern-day Hollywood films? This is one for you then, as it is as different from the current tide of so-called block-busters produced for the mass-market, as it is possible to be. All the cast are excellent, but the performances of William Hurt and Geena Davis in the leading roles are revelatory. Kathleen Turner makes a good job of a rather limited role, and the portrayals of the Hurt character's sister and brothers, among others, are excellent.

It is difficult to give an idea of what goes on in this film, without spoiling it for those who have not yet had the chance of seeing it. As I would hate to put anyone off by ineffectual references to the complex web of story lines, I'll limit myself to saying that the film creates an atmosphere of American family life quite unlike anything I have seen portrayed in a cinema. This is due, in no small measure, to the odd-ball characters created for the leading roles and the afore-mentioned siblings.

I urge you to get this film, as the chance of seeing it in a European Cinema, must be about as good. as the traditional snowball's in hades. Before laying out your bread on a shop counter you should make sure that you have access to a player able to handle Zone 1 DVDs and NTSC format. It will be worth the effort.

This film makes perfect Sunday-afternoon viewing since you should then be able to shrug off distractions which might prevent you from appreciating the films subtleties. But then what do I know about your Sundays?
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on 31 March 2011
This is an old film (1988) but it is one of those films that reward repeat viewing. It is in turns, funny, touching and illuninating of the human experience. The cast is terrific, William Hurt,Geena Davis and Kathleen Turner are all on top form. In short, a wonderful film.
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