AFTER THE DEATH OF HIS SON, MACON, A TRAVEL WRITER, SEEMS TO BE SLEEP WALKING THROUGH LIFE. MACON'S WIFE, IS HAVING TROUBLE TOO & THINKS IT WOULD BE BEST IF THE TWO SPLIT UP. AFTER MACON MEETSA STRANGE WOMAN WHO SEEMS TO B... more »RING HIM BACK DOWN TO EARTH,MACON'S WIFE WANTS TO TRY AGAIN.« less
Cynthia Sue Larson | San Francisco bay area, CA USA | 03/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST has some of the most interesting dialogue ever heard in a film about relationships. The story begins when Macon Leary, a travel writer played by William Hurt, comes home to find his wife, Sarah, (played by Kathleen Turner) wants a divorce. This marriage has endured almost unbearable strain after the death of their only son, and Macon's coping strategy is to strive to keep things as they are. When Macon's welsh corgi becomes bad-tempered and starts to bite, Macon can't stand the thought of parting with the dog that was his son's childhood companion. Macon is forced to rely on others when he breaks his leg and moves in with his sister and brothers, and the movie really picks up momentum when he meets a sparkling divorcee dog trainer named Muriel Pritchett (played by Geena Davis). Muriel has her eyes on Macon Leary from the first moment she sees him, when she begins a long campaign to win this world-weary man over and bring joy back into his life. When Sarah finds out that Macon is seeing another woman, she has a change of heart about finalizing the divorce, and seeks a reconciliation. Macon's choice then becomes one of maintaining the status quo or navigating his way through uncertain yet exciting territories with someone new.
Both the acting and the dialogue in THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST are first-rate and highly memorable. Geena Davis steals the show with her shining performance of a quirky, life-positive divorced single mom with a single-minded interest in helping Macon Leary to become more than a reluctant sight-seer in life. My favorite line of dialogue in this dialogue-driven film is when Macon says to Sarah, "I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just how much you love someone, maybe what matters is who you are when you're with them." I've contemplated this concept for years, and been continually inspired by it's significance.
While this film may be considered slow-moving and somewhat sad, it ultimately delivers an uplifting and inspirational message of hope."
Fabulous Movie With Intense Character Studies Throughout...
Sheila Chilcote-Collins | Collinswood, Van Wert, OH USA | 05/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Accidental Tourist" Hmmm... even the title of the film has many meanings. Unhappily married couple, Macon Leary,(William Hurt)a travel guide author and Sarah Leary (Kathleen Turner) have just lost their young son Ethan to an accident. Each of them goes through the grief process alone and thus, the marriage is quite dead. They separate, with Sarah leaving Macon in the big, old empty Victorian house alone, save for Ethan's badly behaved dog, a Welsh corgie named Edward. When Edward misbehaves, Macon just can't get rid of the dog because it reminds him of the good times that Ethan had with Edward. So, Macon takes the dog to obedience school and meets a very ecentric young woman named Muriel Pritchett. Muriel is a young divorcee with a very sickly little boy, named Alexander (Robert Hy Gorman in a very nice portrayal for a little guy). Muriel pursues Macon, a sexual relationship ensues and Macon opens up for the first time about his sorrow for Ethan. There comes a time when macon has to decide what he wants as Sarah returns to the homeplace and wants to try again.Amy Wright, David Ogden Stiers, and Ed Begley Jr. all turn in WONDERFUL performances as Macon's odd siblings who live together in the family home that they grew up in. Bill Pullman also turns in a great performance as Julian, Macon's publisher.This is a wonderful character study of families, their hurt, disappointment and finally, reconciliation. The film is strongly written and well acted. If you are looking for a funny romance like, "When Harry Met Sally", a spooky romance like "Ghost" or a treacly, sappy sweet romance like "Sabrina", then you are looking in the wrong place. If you like to see characters that pluck at your heart strings and seem "oh so real" then this is a movie for YOU! Highly recommended!Happy Watching!"
One of the top five movies of all time
Brian D. Shearer | Des Moines, IA USA | 05/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While it has been criticized for it's slow, quiet pace, this is one of the most bold and heroic stories ever put on film. Years ago I was swept away by Anne Tyler's novel, and was hesitant to see the movie (knowing movie adaptations of novels almost always disappoint.) I found myself instead swept away in new and different ways by the movie, which is incredibly true to the narrative of the novel.What Macon Leary is going through would not be described as depression as much as recession...pulling away from his life, falling deeper into himself where it is small and quiet and safe, far away from the world that had murdered his son. This drives his wife away from him, leaving him to spiral more deeply into himself until the unexpected hand of a quirky dog trainer pulls him up and out of himself. When Macon reunites with his estranged wife he begins to tumble back in on himself until he discovers that it's not only how much you love somebody, but who you are when you're with that person that matters the most.William Hurt's narration over various scenes in this film ad a layer to it that could never have been achieved in the novel.This film is a must see for any student of the human condition."
The Armchair Traveller
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 01/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"William Hurt + an allstar cast star in this character study of an overly methodical divorcee and his profession on who traveling buisness men can make their trips as dull as his life is.Seen the movie?You'll understand my review then because I'll speak directly about the characters.Macon (Hurt) and his astranged wife Sarah have lost their only son to a horrible murder and have grown apart.His siblings live in a house together and live a comically over-organized life.Meanwhile Macon is pursued by his BEYOND pushy dog trainer Murial Prichett and is forced to make a serious choice-between his ex with whom his relationship is always tenative or the fresh faced (but I should point out obviously younger) Murial.He chooses the later,if only for the reason she followed him on a trip to Paris (where they end up eating at a Buger King.????). And as pushy and quirky as she is one actually tends to relate more to Geena Davis's Murial character.Macon Leary comes off as too controlled and insensative and his wife has lost faith in the world due to her loss.The side characters include Macon's hyper organised sister Rose and her relationship with his eccentric boss Julian (portrayed by Bil Pullman) who proceeds to eat two helpings of Rose's highly undercooked turkey at Thanksgiving.More a slightly ubsurdist character study then a comedy,seeing as nothing really romantic happens and the leading man is actually an (intentionally) pathetic individual 'The Accidental Tourist' stands out heads and tales above todays faceless comedies bogged down with mindless teen flicks and vapid 'chick flicks'.This movie had some intelligence and wittyness to it and with the exception of the wonderful movie 'Amelie' very little is being done in this vein nowadays. "
No need to Marshall Fine excuses
Karl Matz | Mankato, MN United States | 11/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The "editorial review" for this wonderful character study was written by Marshall Fine, a Sioux Falls, SD newspaper critic who hates everything. Pay him no mind. In film and theatre critique one draws more readers with vinegar than honey. But enough on that. Even though Accidental Tourist has no car crashes and no blood and no grimacing Rambo screaming as he wins the VietNam War singlehandedly, it is not merely a chick flick. It has pathos, it has rich characters, vividly drawn; it has sad drama and many tender laughs (Gena Davis singing, "I'm Gonna Bop Bop Santa Claus" for example). Macon Leary is a subdued, somewhat anal-retentive travel guide writer whose son was murdered in a fast food restaurant robbery. The tragedy destroyed his wife and ultimately his marriage. Now he must learn to travel through a world not of his own making - an Accidental Tourist. When we meet his quirky family we see he is not the dimmest candle on the cake by any means. Yet an oddly wonderful woman refuses to let him live his life as a ghost. Like all good stories of people, Macon grows, learns and changes. Those who have seen William Hurt in other films will KNOW the downplayed, lethargic portrayal is INTENDED and those who have met such empty souls will see that this portrayal is AUTHENTIC. A brilliant tale, skillfully wrought."