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Ah, God, I think I am in love.....

  • Apr 18, 2000
  • by
Pros: Good idea, decent acting

Cons: Little unbelievable

This movie starring Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Nathan Lane and Steven Weber is based on a true story. Kilmer plays the part of Virgil Adamson, a blind masseuse that meets up with Sorvino (Amy) a New York architect. Amy is over worked and under stress, meeting hectic deadlines, working with her ex-husband, Steven Weber. She needs a little relief, a little love, a little break.

Virgil has been blind since early childhood and has basically been raised by his sister Jennie (Kelly McGillis) who is very protective and somewhat overbearing. He has few memories of sight but a great sense of feeling-sight. Enter Amy into his life. She is bewitched by this man who has charisma and charm, a great sense of love and feeling, a deep commitment to life.

After much to do from Jennie, Amy convinces Virgil that he should undergo an operation to correct his sight. He is at first apprehensive and then gladly turns to Amy to receive this help. Although he had suffered through many operations as a child, there are now so many advances in surgery all feel confident he will regain his sight.

After the operation, he is overwhelmed with the rush of eye-information he has never encountered before. His brain cannot relate to his eyes what he is seeing. He has to go through intensive counseling to correct his eye-information to brain-information and suddenly a whole new world opens up for him. As a seeing person, I cannot imagine the flood of information that would assault your mind!

Unfortunately, as you would imagine, his sight starts to fail and you realize that he is reverting back to being blind again. During the entire movie, he is a focus of much medical attention because of the unique idea of restoring complete sight to someone, and then the loss of his sight in the end.

He leaves New York and Amy and returns home to sis Jennie. Amy continues on with her work but never forgets how much she loved Virgil. She finally looks him up and in the end, love conquers all.

Some good points in the movie - the 'teaching' experiences between Amy and Virgil as he learns all the many faces or looks a person has and what each look means; the first time he sees her and then again the first time he SEES her, if you get what I mean and mainly Virgil's forays into the city of New York and all the visual impact and how it affects him.

Unfortunately, although based on a true account, I thought the story to be a little too far fetched. Nevertheless, I liked the durn thing anyway and managed to get a tear or two in. McGillis plays a decent part as the evil sister trying to protect her baby bird, Weber as usual plays the 'gee, aren't I good looking and why don't you want me anymore?' guy with just a little bit of attitude. Lane is the therapist that attempts to help Virgil through the pain of regaining his sight. I give it about 3-1/2 stars.


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review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Val Kilmer is excellent as Virgil, a sightless man who is given a gift. Virgil has a retina disease which had been previously diagnosed as incurable. He goes with his girlfriend Amy (Mira Sorvino) to see an eye specialist who tells Virgil that medicine has made great strides in the last 25 years and he may be able to give Virgil sight.    Virgil agrees to give the proposed procedure a try. When the bandages are removed after the procedure, the audience doesn't know what to expect. …
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About this movie


At First Sight is a 1999 American film starring Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino, based on the essay To See and Not to See in neurologist Oliver Sacks' book An Anthropologist on Mars.


Amy Benic (Mira Sorvino) takes a break from her work as an architect at a spa in Pinecrest, a small town outside of New York. Virgil Anderson (Val Kilmer) is a masseur at the spa and gives Amy a massage. During the massage, Amy breaks down and cries and later falls asleep as Virgil leaves the room. When she woke up, she ran after Virgil to compliment the massage, only then realizing that Virgil is in fact blind. They hit it off nonetheless, with Virgil asking her out for a date.

Virgil lives alone, though he is taken care of by his over-protective sister, Jennie (Kelly McGillis), who lives next door. He is also shown to have a keen interest in the New York Rangers NHL team, which he follows by listening to their games on TV or radio.

During an intimate session with Amy, Virgil revealed that he went totally blind when he was three and that the last thing he ever remembered seeing was something fluffy. Amy then tried to describe the horizon to Virgil as something that you "can see but can never reach".

When researching, Amy comes across Dr. Charles Aaron, a specialist in eye treatment who suggests to Virgil that, with surgery, he could make the blind man see.

At first, Virgil refuses, and is ...

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Director: Irwin Winkler
Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 15, 1999
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2hrs 8min
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