Joe Pesci gives his most likable performance to date, elevating this predictable comedy-drama. A stuck-up Harvard senior (Brendan Fraser) believes his life is ruined when an educated bum (Pesci) finds his thesis. The bum w... more »ants to trade each page for a favor during a harsh New England winter. Of course, the student learns more from his new friend than from the halls of Harvard. Some silly, melodramatic parts including an unbelievable classroom lecture make this comedy tiring at times. But the cast and dialogue ring truer than the tired plot. A solid first feature from Alek Keshishian (Truth or Dare), who graduated with honors from Harvard. --Doug Thomas« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 8/22/2017...
A fun romp into college life that stars Brendan Fraser as a young man with high hopes of a college degree from Harvard. With thesis in hand he aims for his Harvard degree but instead finds his hopes in danger when a homeless tramp seizes the opportunity to gain something by holding the papers hostage. Supporting cast include Joe Pesci (the homeless bum who is a self proclaimed "Harvard Bum") and Patrick Dempsey. Lots of fun!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
James B. from WESTFIELD, IA Reviewed on 4/20/2013...
If you see the name Brendan Fraser and think this is a comedy, you would be wrong. This is a tug at you heart movie and a good one at that. This movie explores what people want and how life can go wrong. Well worth the watch.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Impressive, much better than I had hoped...
John S. Dean | Sturtevant, WI United States | 08/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not a fan of either Joe Pesci nor Brendan Fraser. But I have to say, despite my dislike of the actors and the roles I've seen them in that didn't impress me at all, this movie let them shine.
Parts of it are pretty cliche, but they avoided the most obvious ones, so the story was at least a little more realistic than most "everything is resolved happily" stories pumped out of hollywood.
Since this was the first time I've seen the movie, it was strange to see everyone so much younger. I had not realized it was 16 years old before I watched it.
Good cinematography, location was shown well, and other than the initial bit of a stretch in believability for the papers falling in the grate, the movie flowed well and didn't have any moments where you just got pulled back out because of the sheer nonsense.
Solid acting, some great dialog, especially with the Harvard professor, all around well done movie.
This one I'm keeping."
Comfortable movie to watch
lawliss | New Hampshire | 05/07/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a comedy/drama that was released in 1994 (you can tell by the hair styles!!) and was directed by Alek Keshishian. I don't think that Mr. Keshishian had directed any movies prior to this - he was most known for directing music videos for singers like Madonna. It stars Brendan Fraser (as Montgomery "Monty" Kessler), Joe Pesci (as Simon Wilder), Moira Kelly (as Courtney Blumenthal), Patrick Dempsey (yes, McDreamy, as Everett Calloway) and Josh Hamilton (as Jeffrey Hawkes).
Monty, Courtney, Everett and Jeffrey are seniors and roomates at Harvard University. Monty is dead set on graduating with honors in his chosen major - political science. He has opted to write his senior thesis on economics. The thesis is decidedly conservative and espouses and subscribes to the theories put forward by Ronald Reagan during his tenure as president. One night, after returning from a long day of classes and research, Monty goes to work on his thesis but all of his data and the thesis on his hard drive are lost when power in the house is lost. Understandably, Monty freaks out because his hard drive is fried but luckily, he has a number of chapters printed out as back up, so he opts to go down to the library to make copies that evening, instead of waiting for the morning, as his much cooler headed roomates advised. On his way, he breaks his ankle and loses the remaining hard copy down a steam shaft. When he finally gets into the library and finds his hard copy, it is in the possession of Simon Wilder, a homeless man that lives in the boiler room of Harvard's Widener library in spite of being a former Merchant Marines. Simon also has a lot of health problems, including asbestos inhalation that was never identified and treated. This movie details the impact that Simon, Simon's experience and his knowledge has on the four roomates, and, most notably, on Monty, whose entire worldview changes as a result of this interaction.
I enjoyed this movie, not because it really packed a punch or was a movie with a message (a la Hurt Locker) that was being forced down my throat but because it was a pleasant, easy to watch movie. It's one of those movies that you can watch that is comforting in the sense that it doesn't really push the viewer but is really high in entertainment value. I enjoyed watching the actors and, quite frankly, I enjoyed the nostalgia of seeing Harvard, Cambridge and the Charles River in some scenes because those days were a little easier for me. And I loved Cambridge very much. Still do. The cast was wonderful, even though the movie itself could get a little saccharine and cheesy and the plot a little predictable. I also really appreciated that this was a college movie - a movie about college students - where the students seemed to try to figure themselves out as people - to increase their depth and figure out their roles in the world, instead of just trying to figure out how to get beer, more money, more pot or how to get to White Castle. They tried to navigate the moral battles that they were given and to learn from them, and I appreciated that this happened in this movie, whereas in other movies, that doesn't always happen. I really enjoyed it in general, even though it wasn't a critically acclaimed movie.
This is one you should add to your collection."
Don't Be So Jaded!
RowanSandy | CO United States | 04/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some of the reviewers here would make you think this movie is so tiresome it's not worth anyone's time. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, some of these reviewers remind me of the professor played so knowingly and sardonically by Gore Vidal.
Don't see this film expecting high art and you'll be ok. Go in expecting to laugh a little and cry a little. You'll see this film does deliver in these timeless ways."
With Honors Review
E. Garvey | Dublin, Ireland | 03/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Simple, well shot, charming, and a story with a message that's both honest and true, that how I would describe this Movie. One of Dvds that escaped the European Dvd market, I bought it especially for my multi-regional player here in Ireland and for good reason. This Movie sits with pride on my Dvd shelf. With over 800 Dvds in my collection this is in my top 5! Joe Pecsi is eloquent, amusing and the heart of the story, with Brendan Frasier and fellow actors doing an impressive job at entertaining and keeping a lid on what is simply a moralistic and at the same time quaint movie. I used a line from this Movie as the basis for a constitutional Law exam answer recently! Quite simply I recommend this story, ok it's short on introduction, ok it seems low budget but in my opinion it's a little gem and I consider it a must for any reputable Dvd collection either side of the Atlantic."