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Normal Life
Normal Life
Actors: Ashley Judd, Luke Perry, Bruce A. Young, Jim True-Frost, Edmund Wyson
Director: John McNaughton
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2005     1hr 41min

A contempory "Bonnie & Clyde" about a woman living on the edge who marries a young cop and convinces him to join her on a bank robbery spree throughout Chicago.Running Time: 108 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA UPC: 7940...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ashley Judd, Luke Perry, Bruce A. Young, Jim True-Frost, Edmund Wyson
Director: John McNaughton
Creators: Jean de Segonzac, Elena Maganini, John Saviano, Richard Maynard, Steven A. Jones, Bob Schneider, Peg Haller
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: New Line Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/15/2005
Original Release Date: 10/25/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 10/25/1996
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Live by the gun...
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 03/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ashley Judd--Pam--is a certified nutcase, a combination sociopath and manic depressive. Luke Perry--Chris--is a gun-obsessed cop. They meet--NOT cute at all--and get married. He feeds off his need for her. She feeds off every next minute of thrills. No thrills, no connection. No connection, no hope.

She's in despair, she's ecstatic, she's drugged out half the time, she plays with her husband's guns. They have sex and she doesn't feel anything, but shows off her great body a lot. She freaks when she's around other people Chris values (his parents, his friends). He doesn't know what to do with her.

The title is obviously ironic and the violence--brutal and sudden--is not the cookie-cutter variety seen in most Hollywood movies but tragic and senseless and awful. The thing is, what does Pam really want? What does Chris really want?

What do you really want? That's the real question here. And because this movie asks that question in such an upfront way it's a solid piece of work. Most people don't really know what they want; they hang onto little pieces of dreams or illusions, hoping life will bring them more than what they have now.

Here's a film that slams home that question right between the eyes. Do you want a telescope? Do you want a lot of money and a new house? A new motorcycle? OK. You get those.

Then what?
The Abnormal Life
Mr D. | Cave Creek, Az United States | 08/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Question: What can you do when you fall in love with a manic-depressive?

Answer: Why, rob banks of course!

Normal Life, ostensibly based on a true story, is a film about two social misfits, opposites in a way, who find each other and start living a life that is anything but normal.

Chris Anderson (Luke Perry), a straight laced policeman in a small Illinois town near Chicago, while having a drink with his brother in a a local bar, can't help but notice a lovely creature (Ashley Judd) sitting in a booth with two guys. All of a sudden she blows up arguing yelling at her companions and as they walk out on her, she smashes a beer glass, cutting her hand in the process. Our chivalrous knight, Chris goes to help and Pam is impressed. So starts a torrid courtship which doesn't slow down until marriage and the drudgery of making a living.

There is something wrong with Pam but Chris either doesn't see it or he's not willing to face it. Pam has short attention span and seems to be ambivalent about sex but nevertheless craves excitement for which Chris's answer is to buy her things on credit. Pam seems to be fighting a never ending battle with her inner demons. She drinks to excess and enjoys humiliating Chris. When visiting his family she ignore them and showed up at his father's funeral on roller skates. She fixes dinner for herself and forgets Chris, tears up the apartment, mutilates herself, threatens suicide. She is a disturbed, self destructive, manic-depressive, .

In the meantime Chris is starting to make enemies on the force and eventually is forced out. Pam works in a factory but they were having trouble with two paychecks and they certainly can't make it on one. Pam flips out and leaves reminding Chris that he promised to take care of her. When he finds her, he tells her that she doesn't have to worry because he will handle things.

That's when Chris starts robbing banks. Being an ex-cop helps if you're going to rob banks and Chris is successful for quite a while. Eventually Pam finds out and she is thrilled. She insists on helping him and he reluctantly agrees but the police and FBI are setting a trap.


First, I rented the un-rated CD version. I'm not sure what the difference was versus the R version but this version was fairly explicit and showed both Perry and Judd in the nude but Judd much more as she seemed to lounge around the apartment naked when she was depressed, which was a lot.

Since Ashley Judd is probably my favorite actress this was a pleasant bonus, seeing my favorite actress in the buff. But Ashley didn't just show off her physical attributes she really got into the part. This was some of her best acting if not her best. It's a shame that it was wasted on what is essentially a `B' movie.

The movie itself seemed hokey at times and except for the nudity, I would have thought it to be a low budget TV movie. The sets and the cinematography resembled a TV movie and I would say that most of that would probably fall on the director, McNaughton.

Perry's acting was also good but supporting actors seemed a little tentative. I thought the story was good and it was portrayed well, if cheaply. I thought the film was entertaining, though it is not one I'd like to watch more than once. I give Normal Life 31/2 stars rounded up because I like Ashley Judd.

Phenomenal Movie
Mr D. | 01/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a really great movie.....balanced all around
with many interesting aspects, very well emotionally
acted out by both leading actors, and so well constructed
that those watching the movie are pulled into the story,
and taken for a ride lasting almost 2 hours, much
like a rollercoaster. This is a movie very well done,
very challenging to write and film, I would guess -but
completed with incredible skill."
Outstanding, if very disturbing, film, but perhaps not every
Utah Blaine | Somewhere on Trexalon in District 268 | 06/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A week ago I had never heard of this film and stumbled upon it on the Amazon website. I bought it on a whim and was amazed, I found this to be an absolutely oustanding film. The acting performance by Ashley Judd was unbelievable, I never considered her a serious actress until I saw this. She played the role of a `distressed woman' as well as Isabelle Huppert could have done, this was a performance worthy of the finest French actresses, not some lame Hollywood starlet. I can't believe I never heard of this film before, and I'm in stunned amazement that Judd could play this role so well. This is a story about a beautiful manic-depressive woman (Judd) who meets a straightlaced cop (Luke Perry) and they fall in love. Well, Perry's character falls madly in love with Judd's, and in her lucid moments, these feeling are reciprocated. If there is a better, more realistic film about mental illness, obsession, and manic-depression, I don't know what it is. We follow the ups and downs of the characters as they meet, get married, and begin their life together. They begin to have financial trouble due to Judd's obsessive spending, and Luke Perry's character resorts to robbing banks to recover their finances. This is like watching the build up to a train wreck; you know it isn't going to end well. There are some scenes in this film that are very disturbing (like the scene in which Judd shows up to her father-in-law's funeral wearing rollerblades - ouch), and this film won't appeal to everyone's tastes. If you like Huppert (particularly in films like La Ceremonie and other Chabrol films, or Coup de Torchon), you are certainly going to like this. Luke Perry also did a surprisingly good job in this film, although his role was much less demanding than AJ's. A great film, but this will not be everyone's cup of tea, so you should read the reviews and plot summaries carefully before purchasing."