|
Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Broken Flowers » User review

Don Juan in Hell

  • Jan 7, 2006
  • by
Rating:
+3
Jim Jarmusch continues his exploration of the human plight with BROKEN FLOWERS, a story he both wrote and directed, and this time he examines the psyche and the consequences of the Don Juan complex. In doing so he offers a quiet meditation about choices and their reverberations and leaves many thoughts open-ended, a definite tribute to the intelligence of his viewers and followers.

Don Johnston (Bill Murray) is a middle aged bachelor who has devoted his life to being a success in computer work, all the while being a lothario with countless women used as sexual partners over his lifetime. His most recent paramour Sherry (Julie Delphy) has just left him: 'You make me feel like a mistress and you're not even married!'. He now lives alone in Anywhere, USA, his only friends being his next-door neighbor, novelist Winston (Jeffrey Wright) and his wife Mona (Heather Simms) and five children. Don receives a pink envelope in the mail, no signature, no return address, informing him he has a 19-year-old son who may be out looking for him. Don's affect is flat: he has no idea of his parenthood or the identity of the mother.

Winston is curious, takes the letter in hand and begins detective work to find out whom the mother might be. In a matter of days he has located four prospects from a list Don reluctantly and fuzzily makes of girlfriends from 20 years ago, makes all the travel arrangements, gives detective type advice, and sets Don (Juan) Johnston off on his journey with instructions to greet each of the four with a bouquet of pink flowers. The four women are a disparate group: Laura (Sharon Stone) and her au natural daughter Lolita (Alexis Dziena) where he pauses for a physical dalliance; Dora (Frances Conroy); animal communicator Dr. Carmen Markowski (Jessica Lange) with her sexy office assistant (Chloƫ Sevigny); and Penney (Tilda Swinton) whose fellow bikers beat him. Don returns home, without having a clue as to who sent the letter or has the son.
Back at home he receives a second pink letter which he turns over to Winston: case unsolved. He remains a lonely man, befriends a young lad (Mark Webber) at the thought he may be the son, but that too leaves stories unresolved. Was the lad his son, had he met the mother, or is this all a concoction for a novel by his best friend Winston?

Jarmusch leaves the ending to the audience. He has created enough characters with whom we can identify and understand and then just leaves it there. The cast is excellent, with Bill Murray's Don being the finest interpretation of his career. Each of the cameos is brief but fully realized and allows each of the actors a divergent role from their usual casting. Though promoted as a comedy this story is more of a meditation on lust, desire, loneliness, and failure to connect. It is a fine little film. Recommended. Grady Harp, January 06

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
0
Thought-Provoking
0
Fun to Read
0
Well-Organized
0
Post a Comment
More Broken Flowers reviews
review by . December 04, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
A man receives an anonymous letter informing him he is the father of a 19-year old son, so he sets off on a journey to visit his old girlfriends to see which one wrote the letter.      Bill Murray stars in this movie which is, at times, funny, pathetic, and shocking but mostly just boring. His character is an unappealing, solitary man who shows no interest or emotion; Murray pretty much phones in his performance, so underplaying his role that I wondered why he bothered at all. …
review by . May 11, 2009
This is a movie where you wait for something to happen and nothing ever does! What's worse is that the ending did not resolve the story. Bill Murray as a kind of loser who receives an unsigned note from an old girlfriend claiming that he is the father of her child. Murray seeks out 4 old girlfriends to find out who might have sent it. The director tries to be cute by having the daughter of one of the women (named Lolita of course) walk around naked in front of him. This was supposed to be the comedy …
review by . February 03, 2009
Pros: scenery, auxillary actors     Cons: Bill Murray, boring movie     The Bottom Line:   “And you can send me dead flowers every morning  Send me dead flowers by the mail”  ~Mick Jagger & Keith Richards     Don Johnston, a confirmed bachelor, has been dumped by yet another woman. Although he appears affluent, rich through something he did with computers, he remains alone and friendless except …
review by . September 12, 2007
Although the movie itself is interesting, well performed, engaging and mostly excellent, it just fails at the end. I was left wanting for a real ending
review by . October 13, 2006
Life is mysterious. Sometimes bombshells shake us up. Life seems to be a run toward fulfillment with expectations that frustrate our deepest desires. Such is the quandry for Don Johnston (Bill Murray) who is a solitary middle-aged bachelor. His live in lover, Sherry (Julie Delpy) leaves him at the beginning. He seems slightly startled out of his orbit, but her complaints provide the crux of his situation. "You're never going to change," she complains. "I don't want to be with an over-the-hill Don …
review by . June 25, 2006
This is a movie where you wait for something to happen and nothing ever does! What's worse is that the ending did not resolve the story. Bill Murray as a kind of loser who receives an unsigned note from an old girlfriend claiming that he is the father of her child. Murray seeks out 4 old girlfriends to find out who might have sent it. The director tries to be cute by having the daughter of one of the women (named Lolita of course) walk around naked in front of him. This was supposed to be the comedy …
review by . August 29, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Near the end of this film, a young man who might be Don Johnston's (Bill Murray's) son asks for a bit of philosophical wisdom from a fellow traveler. What he gets (see the title for this review) is not original but probably appropriate for one who gets described by almost everyone else as a "Don Juan." That is, of course, the idea behind the famous romancer: that romantic love and sex are all about the here and now (that is why romantic love and marriage are such uneasy "bed partners": the best …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #101
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

You
gradyharp
Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie

Wiki

Bill Murray gives yet another simple, seemingly effortless, yet illuminating performance in Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers. Don Johnston (Murray,Lost in Translation,Rushmore) receives an anonymous letter telling him that he has a 19 year old son who's looking for him. Don only decides to investigate at the prompting of his neighbor Winston (the indispensable Jeffrey Wright,Shaft,Basquiat), who not only tracks down the current addresses of the possible mothers, he plans Don's entire trip down to the rental cars. Almost against his will, Don finds himself knocking at the doors of four very different women (Sharon Stone,The Quick and the Dead; Frances Conroy,Six Feet Under; Jessica Lange,Sweet Dreams; and Tilda Swinton,The Deep End) who were once his lovers. Part road movie, part detective story, part existential meditation,Broken Flowersis even more minimalist than most Jarmusch movies (Stranger Than Paradise,Dead Man,Mystery Train)--anyone looking for an easy resolution should look elsewhere. But for anyone willing to let a movie be a poem as much as a story--i.e., let it observe behavior without explaining it--Broken Flowerswill offer a wealth of mysteries, gestures, and Bill Murray's soulful eyes. It's a movie that's wonderfully eloquent about what's not being said.--Bret Fetzer
view wiki
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
()
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since
reviews
comments
ratings
questions
compliments
lists