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A movie directed by Robert Benton

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'I do that, I grow on people'....Newman

  • May 28, 2000
Pros: All actors give great performances

Cons: .......

Growing old in the USA .... friends and family surrounding you .... a wonderful boss that you enjoy working for .... a son you never had a relationship with .... a grandson named ‘Wacker' ... a frustrated wife .... a damn mean dog ..... and a snowblower! Such is life if your name is Paul Newman. Of course there is always more ..... an attorney with an artificial leg, poker games, drinking, gambling on the horses, living with Jessica Tandy.

Newman is a construction worker that cannot work due to a knee injury he received while working for Bruce Willis. Willis is married to Melanie Griffith but, in true Willis form, plays around on the side with his secretary. Half the town loves Newman and the other half thinks he is a somewhat worthless bum. Hardly anyone loves Willis, including Griffith.

During a Thanksgiving visit, Newman and his estranged son reaffirm their relationship, mainly due to the fact that the son and his wife are separating. Newman and son (Dylan Walsh) start working together in the construction business while Newman constantly tries to get Walsh and his wife back together.

Constantly a theme in the background is a broken porch railing at Tandy's home that Newman swears today is the day he will fix it, and a snowblower that belongs to Willis that Newman continues to steal with Willis stealing it back - so on and so forth. Guarding the snowblower is one mean dog that Newman over powers and as far as Willis is concerned, ruins for life.

Newman and the local police officer have a lot of interaction, just because the officer knows that Newman is a huge pain in the ass and after one particular confrontation, Newman is sentenced to a week in jail. After the jail trip, Newman and gang get into a friendly poker game - Willis and secretary have turned it into strip poker, in walks Griffith with plane tickets for her and Newman to fly to Hawaii. After a lot of soul searching, Newman finally refuses, but the point is driven home to Willis just the same.

Probably one of the finest and funniest movies in a long time, also one of the most poignant. Family values and relationships aside, the mind set of aging America is confronted and explored. Is it necessary for every movie to have a meaning or a story? Well, considering some of the things I've seen lately, I think not, but this one has it all in spades.

There are so many story lines and interconnecting story lines in this movie it could almost be made into several movies. Many memorable scenes and wonderful one liners, making this just a fun fare for all with a little nostalgia thrown in. Some beautiful scenes between Tandy and Newman and he is still the heart throb he always was with those incredible eyes and rewarding smile! And when Melanie flashes him, his look is priceless.

Starring: Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Dylan Walsh, Philip Bosco (does he always play a judge?) and my new unknown Drenda Spohnholtz.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Paul Newman stars as Donald "Sully" Sullivan in Robert Benton's adaptation of the Richard Russo novel. A 60-year-old part-time laborer who lost touch with the wife and children he abandoned--along with most of his other responsibilities--years ago, he's a marginal but familiar figure in the small town he inhabits in upstate New York. He conducts a mild, ongoing flirtation with Toby Roebuck (Melanie Griffith), the wife of Carl (Bruce Willis), a local contractor who frequently employs Sully (and who Sully's currently suing for worker's compensation). His ready wit, surprisingly sharp observations, and willingness to tweak bad-tempered authority figures are appreciated by the cronies with whom he drinks and plays poker. Things begin to change for Sully when his long-lost son, Peter (Dylan Walsh), arrives in town for Thanksgiving with his family. A college professor recently let go from his job, Peter remains in town with one of his sons after a spat with his wife, and for the first time he and his father ge...
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Cast: Bruce Willis
Director: Robert Benton
Release Date: 1994
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (September 16, 2003)
Runtime: 1hr 50min
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