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Hotel New Hampshire

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Tony Richardson

British director Tony Richardson takes on John Irving's picaresque black comedy about an eccentric and unusually peripatetic family in a film starring Rob Lowe as John Berry, the family's oldest son. John's father, Win (Beau Bridges), is … see full wiki

Director: Tony Richardson
Release Date: 1984
MPAA Rating: PG
1 review about Hotel New Hampshire

Hotel New Hampshire is haunted with open windows

  • Sep 1, 2003
Pros: weird and bizarre

Cons: some parts are pretty raw

The Bottom Line: ______________

A weird movie at best with strange characters and humorous characters, Hotel New Hampshire will definitely bring a smile to your face.

Written & directed by Tony Richardson, adapted from the novel by John Irving, Hotel New Hampshire takes you through the unlikely lives of the Berry family:

John Berry played by Rob Lowe. A sweet and loving brother who just happens to have a huge set of the hots for his beautiful and headstrong sister. I found Lowe both funny and bizarre in this movie. Some of his looks brought a smile to your face, but for the most part his was a most serious role. Deeply in love with his sister, he will go to any end to protect her.

Frannie Berry by Jodie Foster. The temptress that has John on his toes at all times. A sassy and outspoken little miss, but also very introspective. She both feeds John’s obsession with her and thwarts it. However, when she is raped by the local boys, she turns into quite a different girl/lady/woman. She is probably the most diverse character in the movie and the one you see the most change in, both physically and mentally.

Frank Berry by Paul McCrane. Frank is a homosexual and pulls no punches about it. Taunted and teased at school by his peers, he is probably the most honest person in the family. He doesn’t hide behind anything, he speaks his mind.

Win Berry by Beau Bridges, the father. A dreamer without a doubt. Always looking for the better mousetrap, the bigger glory. All he wants is to keep his family together at any cost, but little does he realize that all they want is a normal life. There is no such thing as a normal life at the Hotel New Hampshire.

Lilly Berry by Jennifer Dundas. A small girl, actually stunted in her growth by some mysterious disease, is probably the sharpest knife in this drawer. Her publication of the story of their lives leads to fame and success, but at a cost. Always plagued by her small size, in the end her story is the most damaging.

The Hotel New Hampshire was originally in – believe it or not – New Hampshire. When times went bad, the hotel closed and the Berry’s moved on to other endeavors. As they starting producing their brood, they returned to the old beaten down hotel with a dream to bring it back to life. Of course they did, but Win always had stars in his eyes for more. After receiving a letter from Freud, as in Sigmund, he packs bag and baggage and transports his family to Vienna for the opening of a new Hotel New Hampshire.

Several major things happen because of this. Mother and a young son didn’t make it because the plane they took to Vienna crashed. This naturally traumatized the family. The new digs in Vienna was a dump inhabited by the underbelly of society – terrorists and prostitutes. Somehow they had to evict these people in order to make the hotel a loving family environment for visitors. Freud had been in an accident was now blind, being cared for by Susie the bear. Well, technically not a real bear, but she didn’t know she wasn’t a bear. Well, technically, she knows she isn’t a bear, but she doesn’t care. She never takes her bear suit off, a shame considering it was Kinski.

And so goes life at the new Hotel New Hampshire.

Additional characters were Wallace Shawn as Freud, Matthew Modine playing a dual part as Chip the rapist of Jodie in New Hampshire and Ernst the terrorist in Vienna, Lisa Banes as Mrs. Berry, Nastassia Kinski as Susie the Bear and Amanda Plummer as Miss Miscarriage. There is just no way I will attempt to delve into the convoluted backgrounds of these characters.

Hotel New Hampshire is a bawdy romp into some pretty messed up people. Rent a room if you dare.


“ [John narrating the last lines of the film] So we dream on, inventing our lives; a little lost sister, a saintly mother, a hero father. But our dreams escape us however vividly we imagine them. There's only one thing you can do, keep passing the open windows. “


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