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Guarding Tess

1 rating: 5.0
A movie directed by Hugh Wilson

A sad-sack Secret Service agent is assigned to protect a feisty former First Lady in this comic look at an oddball relationship. If they weren't so busy fighting with each other, they might just be friends.

Tags: Movies, Comedies
Director: Hugh Wilson
Release Date: 1994
MPAA Rating: PG-13
1 review about Guarding Tess

TESS ~Chesnic is living in Hell and it is called Ohio

  • Sep 2, 2000
Pros: acting and directing

Cons: none

I live in Ohio, I understand Chesnic's pain .... in fact, I may live with Tess!

A heart warming movie starring Nicholas Cage as Secret Service Agent Doug Chesnic and Shirley MacLaine as former first lady Tess Carlisle, situated entirely in Ohio. Tess is outspoken and demanding and just a teeny bit erratic. Poor Chesnic has done his required duty, three years guarding Tess, with her quirky habits. Just as he is packing those bags to make his escape he receives the dreaded phone call from the current President - he must return for three more years, at Tess's request.

The interaction between Tess and Chesnic is both volatile and humorous. MacLaine, not one of my favorite actresses, is entirely believable as the stodgy but lovable first lady. I think just enough of MacLaine's well known zany character comes through in this film. Cage, with his typical hang dog expressions is the perfect counter point to MacLaine's unforgivable antics.

There is one hysterical scene when they are all on the way back from Columbus and stop for gas - the agents are all making bets on who would win in different battles (Tess vs Nancy, etc) between first ladies. Of course, they all believe Tess would be the winner "Hands Down".

Many times during the movie you see Chesnic, though totally at odds with Tess, also holding a spot deep in his heart for her. Tess discovers she is dying from a brain tumor and does not tell anyone but demands to be taken to the shores of Lake Erie for a picnic. While there, she is kidnapped and Chesnic and his cronies go into full gear to locate her. Of course, the FBI and other notables step in for the final glory but Tess, true to her usual quirkiness, gives the front seat to those who have truly been her saviors and servants - Chesnic and his crew.

A thoroughly enjoyable film with many hilarious scenes. Outstanding performances by MacLaine and Cage to the point of believability. You can almost feel Chesnic's desperation to be rid of this detail and out of this no where place. A fun break from Cage's usual roles in which he is usually a quite intense actor - Faceoff, Snake Eyes, 8 mm.


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