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A movie directed by Martha Coolidge

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Some stories have to tell themselves

  • May 7, 2000
Pros: good performance by Davis

Cons: could have used a little more telling

Angie Scacciapensieri, played by Geena Davis, is going nowhere fast. A lousy job, no real life, no future, no past, been dating the same guy since she was old enough to talk and she is pregnant. Mom ran off when she was a little girl, dad remarried and she doesn't like the stepmother. And it pretty much looks like this non-existence is going to be hers forever.

Enter bad boy Noel (Stephen Rea). He gives her just that little devil-may-care playboy attitude. You know he is a snake, but he does dote on her. After all, she is a safe bet - already pregnant, already got a boyfriend on the hook.

Angie begins to look back over her shoulder. Is this what I want? Is this the best it is ever gonna get for me? How the Hell did I get pregnant anyway and do I really want this kid? She starts to step aside from friends and family, she dumps Vinnie. This does not make him happy, he's Italian after all - family is life! And she does have Noel for support doesn't she? (yea, right)

Truthfully, when she goes into labor, it is quite comical. Well, first you have to know Angie. Just a little bad girl, a little hot, a little fun loving. Anyway, she is playing Santa at a Christmas party (no padding needed here) and dancing like a fool pasing out presents and off to the labor room she goes. Delivery does not go the best (there is some musical number involved that is really funny) and the baby is born slightly deformed (arm). This brings a lot of angst to Angie - was it something she did? Was it because she didn't want the baby? etc., etc.

Slightly repulsed by the deformity she cannot bond with the child. In addition, feeling this, the child will not bond with her. Whenever she holds him he constantly cries but whenever others hold him, he is silent. Adding insult to injury, she must return to her father's home until she can fend for herself and her child. She has never liked her stepmother and this just adds fuel to the fire. In a fit of rage, she leaves the home and rushes to Noel, who has dropped her like a hot potato. She discovers the snake is married and really not interested in pursuing a relationship after all (insert duh).

Defeated, she returns to daddy's. Lonely, disgusted, tired to the bone, the baby will NOT stop wailing she soaks in a bath, trying to relieve some of the tension. Finally unable to listen to the child any longer, she goes to the baby's room and low and behold, finds stepmom breast feeding the child OK, side note here - you know what I'm going for here .... this woman DID NOT have a baby. Am I missing something here? End of side note. This being the final insult, Angie rushes from the home leaving her baby, her father, the evil stepmother, her family and friends and goes looking for mother. Now she hasn't heard from mother for years but Oh, those maternal heartstrings .....

Now as can only happen in movies, she finds her mother. Once a beautiful and vivacious woman, she finds an old, medicated, schizophrenic shell. Trapped in a room that is often only her mind, but trapped all the same. In addition, she finds the room covered floor to ceiling with photos of Angie which daddy has diligently been sending all these years. Realizing she is becoming her mother by abandoning her own child, she calls home to tell them she is coming back. The mother, of course, never realizes who Angie even is ... a sad note.

Discovering the baby has pneumonia and is in a coma, she rushes to the hospital and kneels next to him to pray. During the night a transformation for both Angie and baby and the bond is now set. And as they say in Hollywood, they lived happily ever after?????

The character played decently by Geena Davis did lack some conviction and could have used a little more fleshing out. In fact, all roles in this movie were somewhat shallow and underplayed. I think the premise of the story was a good one but felt they failed to bulk the roles up or give the characters more background. Nevertheless, 3 stars


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Angie (Geena Davis), a spunky, hardworking Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, native, is about to make some life-altering decisions. When she discovers she's pregnant, Angie starts making wedding plans, only to realize the father of her child, and long-term fianci, Vinnie (James Gandolfini of THE SOPRANOS), is not the man she wants to marry. Handsome and cultivated Noel (Stephen Rea) arrives on the scene, and the charming Irishman sweeps her off her feet, leading to a tumultuous affair, much to the displeasure of Angie's father, stepmother, and Bensonhurst friends. Having a child prompts Angie to analyze her own childhood as well as her relationship with her mother. This appealing tale of self-discovery is based on the novel ANGIE, I SAYS by Avra Wing.
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Director: Martha Coolidge
Release Date: 1994
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Buena Vista Home Entertainment (October 14, 2003)
Runtime: 1hr 48min
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