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The Astronaut's Wife (1999)

A movie directed by Rand Ravich

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Stars over substance.

  • Mar 12, 2001
I was really disappointed by this movie. I thought this was going to be somewhat of a sci-fi movie, but about the only action in the film occurs near the very end. I guess I shouldn't have been too disappointed; the title pretty much says it all.

The film revolves around the astronaut's wife (played by Charlize Theron). I was so bored by the opening half of the movie, that I never learned the characters names, I didn't care anything about them. Her husband (played by Johnny Depp) is in an accident in space, but after a brief hospital visit he makes a full recovery. Nevertheless, his wife notices some subtle changes in his behavior. Things aren't exactly what they appear to be.

This movie portrays itself as being a type of sci-fi movie (and it was labeled as such in the store I rented it), but it is really more of a thriller along the lines of WHAT LIES BENEATH (a far superior piece of cinematic magic). However, there isn't anything thrilling in this thriller.

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About this movie


An intriguingly creepy premise but failed execution marks this stylish and ultimately bland thriller about a pretty, young woman whose pretty, young astronaut husband comes back from his most recent space mission a little... odd. Before that fated space trip, Spencer (Johnny Depp) and Jillian (Charlize Theron) were a sunny, happy couple with matching blonde hairdos and a predilection for romping in the sack from extremely clever camera angles. However, after a communications blackout brings Spencer and his partner back down to earth prematurely, things are a little... peculiar. Spencer's partner goes bonkers and has a heart attack; on top of that, the partner's wife takes a fatal shower with a plugged-in radio. Getting out of the space biz, Spencer accepts a job as a corporate exec in New York, and as a welcome to the Big Apple for his comely wife, he molests her at the company cocktail party. Soon enough, Jillian is pregnant, but as you might expect, this pregnancy (twins, don't you know) is a little... unusual. Writer-director Rand Ravich takes his sweet time getting from extremely obvious plot point A to even more obvious plot point B, stretching out the development particulars in mind-numbing, suspense-killing fashion. Even Joe Morton, as a sinisterly psychotic NASA official, can't liven things up--you know you're in bad thriller territory when the biggest scare comes from a light suddenly being switched off. Theron, sporting a Mia ...
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Director: Rand Ravich
Screen Writer: Rand Ravich
Runtime: 109 minutes
Studio: New Line Home Video
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