Gene Hackman, Teri Garr and Burgess Meredith star in this "beautifully performed ensemble piece" (The Hollywood Reporter) about the complicated relationships of three lonely people whose lives center around a rundown roadh... more »ouse in the Lone Star State. Welcome to the Blue Water Grill, a Gulf Coast eatery that's slowly sinking into bankruptcy. Widower-owner Floyd (Gene Hackman) spends his days watching home movies of his wife, refusing to accept her death and drifting further away from reality. But having to cope with her cantankerous, wheelchair-bound father (Burgess Meredith) makes escaping reality nearly impossible! Enter Louise (Teri Garr), an opinionated free spirit who sets her sights on saving the dinerĀ...and Floyd! It's not every man who gets a second chance at love and lifeĀ...but it's not every woman who's as determined as Louise!« less
Gloria B. (glowbird) from SPOKANE, WA Reviewed on 7/6/2023...
I've watched this five star movie repeatedly over the years since discovering it on VHS. While the plot centers around loss of a loved one, I consider this a comedy as there's plenty of comic scenes and dialogue to go around. The all star cast includes Gene Hackman, Teri Garr, Elias Koteas, and my favorite character, Burgess Meredith. This is a hidden gem of a movie that I highly recommend.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Meditation On the Way Life Often Works
Reviewer | 05/30/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The loss of a loved one, especially a spouse or a child, can be devastating on the one left behind; and without some kind of closure, that same love, combined with the loss, can lead to an unhealthy obsession in which the object of that devotion can emerge as something so perfect that none among the living could ever hope to measure up to it. And it's just such a situation that is explored by director Peter Masterson in "Full Moon In Blue Water," the story of a man who, even after many months, cannot come to terms with the loss of his wife, and has, by clinging so vehemently to her memory, effectively removed himself from the world of the living, despite the efforts of others who are close to him and depend upon him, including the woman who would love him-- if only he would give her the chance.Floyd (Gene Hackman) is the owner of the Blue Water Grill, situated on the coast of the Texas Gulf in the small town of Blue Water. He's made a living at it since ending a stint as a merchant marine, and it's pretty much all he knows. And for a time, when he shared it all with his beloved Dorothy (Becky Ann Baker), it was the perfect life. But it all ended when Dorothy disappeared one day out on the gulf, and was presumed drowned; a tragedy from which Floyd has never recovered. Now he spends his days watching home movies of his wife, reliving the moments they shared, which become even more perfect with every day that passes, and with each additional viewing. He's let his business slide, and doesn't realize-- or perhaps just doesn't care-- what a dangerous, downward spiral he's on. Floyd may be content wallowing in his discontent and misery, but there are those who need him and love him, and refuse to give up on him: His invalid father-in-law, The General (Burgess Meredith), would be lost without Floyd, as would Jimmy (Elias Koteas), the simpleton Floyd provides with a living by employing him for odd jobs around the restaurant, and as a companion for The General. But most especially, there's Louise (Teri Garr), a woman who cares deeply for Floyd, but just can't get through to him-- she simply can't live up to the image of perfection Floyd holds in his mind of Dorothy. But there's something else troubling Louise, too. She knows that real estate broker Charlie O'Donnell (Kevin Cooney) has made an offer to buy Floyd's place, and for a sum that's half of what it's worth. And in his diminished mental state, Floyd may be about to make one of the biggest mistakes of his life; Louise, however, is determined to avert it from happening. If only she can get through to Floyd in time; if only she can break through that wall of Dorothy's memory.Masterson delivers his story in a straightforward manner, without attempting any frills, tricks or exaggerations in an effort to heighten the drama. He simply gives you a story that is what it is; a look at the twists and turns life can take, and how when something happens to one it affects, not only that person, but those around him, and in turn, those around them. Subtly, but very definitely, it underscores the symbiotic nature of mankind and succinctly drives home the point that, indeed, no man is an island. As this film so aptly demonstrates, whether we choose to believe it or not, there is no such thing as absolute autonomy. Somewhere along the line, directly or indirectly, the behavior of one is going to have an effect on someone else. It's the underlying message of this film, and it's presented quite effectively by Masterson, although his approach is a bit too academic, perhaps. Human emotion forms the core of the story, and yet the film is not as emotionally involving as it could-- or should-- be. Masterson manages to maintain interest, but without that hook that would have really engaged his audience. Still, it's a good job, the film is well delivered and offers a satisfying experience, albeit one that could have been much more.As Floyd, Hackman gives a solid performance, creating a character that is believable and real. He gets neither too maudlin nor morbid with his portrayal, even in the depths of his depression, which tells us something about who Floyd really is: a guy who feels deeply, but is capable of bouncing back. Hackman makes him someone with whom you can empathize, but without getting too close. Everyone will be able to relate to Floyd on some level, inasmuch as loss is something we all have to deal with at one time or another, though that sense of identity is more of an inherent aspect of the story rather than due to anything that Hackman brings to it. It's Hackman's expertise, however, that maintains the film's credibility and makes that sense of identity accessible. And that's why Hackman's a star; he makes what he does convincing, as he does here, with a performance that is, in it's simplicity, natural and affecting.Teri Garr is effective, as well, turning in a sympathetic performance through which she successfully conveys, not only her love and concern for Floyd, but her frustrations in coping with the intangible and impenetrable image of Dorothy that Floyd has created in his mind. Garr is entirely convincing as Louise, lending her a blue-collar charm that she sells with her natural, charismatic screen presence. It's the supporting efforts by Koteas and Meredith that really makes this film click, however. Koteas finds just the right tone and shadings to make the hapless Jimmy convincing, and Meredith is a delight as the lovable old curmudgeon embraced by Floyd, in that he is his last link to Dorothy. "Full Moon In Blue Water," then, is a meditation on life; and one that's definitely worth a look."
Full moon in blue water
Reviewer | 06/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought the movie was excellent. I had a close association with Gene Hackmans character, he plays a very believable role as an ex merchant marine trying to deal with life after the dissappearance of his wife. The combination of Hackman, Garr, and Burgess Merideth was very appealing.There is a real feeling for the characters as the movie evolves. The man who does the odd jobs around the restaurant is very funny. Two thumbs up."
An overlooked treasure.
Reviewer | 06/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Full Moon In Blue Water, which was totally overlooked when it was released in 1988, was obviously a film before its time. The acting by the four stars (Hackman, Meredith, Garr and, especially, Koteas) is wonderful. The script, while keeping an overall comic tone, deals with subjects far deeper. The story is a marvelous one - a tale of displaced people who come together to form an eccentric, but loving family. Very highly recommended!"
Reviewer | 06/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was glad to see this finally come out in DVD. It's an artful, subtle little meditation on life that somehow manages to keep you laughing. Masterson's directing is pretty understated here, Hackman gives a very good performance, and the script has true meat and depth. Highly recommended."
Karen A. Decoster | Detroit, MI | 04/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fun, fun, fun, fun......Hackman, the best Hollywood will ever see, plays a neurotic, daydreaming wench whose wife drowned and whose body was never found. Living in the past via his archive of home movies of his beloved wife, the other crazies in his life create an intertwining storyline of feeble-mindedness and quackery around him. Burgess Meredith is 5-star material in this pic, the supporting cast is wonderful, and the storyline itself is just a hoot -- and entirely original."