From Academy Award┬(r)-winning* director Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) comes this "bright, amusing and provocative" (The Hollywood Reporter) film based on John Irving's best-selling novel. Featuring "a gifted cast" (LA Heral... more »d-Examiner), including Oscar┬(r)** winner Jodie Foster (The Silence of the Lambs), Rob Lowe ("The West Wing") and Beau Bridges (The Fabulous Baker Boys), The Hotel New Hampshire is "intriguing" (Boxoffice), "impressive" (LA Herald-Examiner) and "fascinating" (Variety)! A motley clan of eight lovable misfits, the Berry family sets out on an adventure to fulfill their father's lifelong aspiration of owning a hotel. Their quest takes them around the world, and they greet every new location with their own brand of outrageous humor, practical jokes and just plain weird eccentricism. But when this tribe of oddballs encounters a healthy dose of heartbreak, they soon must learn that not all in life is fun and games and that sometimes the only thing you have left is the one thing that matters most family. *1963: Best Picture, Director **1991: Actress, The Silenceof the Lambs; 1988: Actress, The Accused« less
Blayne T. Jensen | Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA | 06/27/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The adaptation of John Irving's fifth novel, and the one I've read the most times over the years, "The Hotel New Hampshire" suffers from a great many things, most notably being the appalling lack of any common sense or good judgment in the casting of Nastassia (sp?) Kinski as Susie the Bear. The character of Susie is supposed to have such low self-esteem and is described in the book as a plain-looking average woman who thinks herself so ugly that she hides herself in a bear costume.When she finally takes off the bear head in the movie and is revealed to be a gorgeous woman with supermodel looks, it's hard for us, the audience, to have any sympathy for her inferiority complex. Combine this glaring oversight with the more traditional scriptwriting dilemna of how to boil down such a multi-layered, complex, rich narrative into a two hour time frame that the average moviegoer will tolerate and you arrive at a script that simplifies and drains all the larger than life splendour of the magnificent novel. This is the Roach Motel of film adaptations of great works of Literature."
A Part of the Journey
Reviewer | 07/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a story about life and the many facets of love, dreams and aspirations, and the journey of discovery we all have to make in our own way in our own time. But the single thread that runs through the film and ties the characters and their lives together is sorrow; and in this instance, using an extremely overt metaphor, "Sorrow" is the family pet-- a dog-- who comes to symbolize a seemingly prevalent condition of the Berry family in "The Hotel New Hampshire," written for the screen and directed by Tony Richardson, adapted from the novel by John Irving. The story centers on the Berry family, a close but eccentric clan, and is told from the perspective of John (Rob Lowe), who tries to make sense of his too familiar relationship with his sister, Frannie (Jodie Foster), his gay older brother, Frank (Paul McCrane), his literally "little" sister, Lilly (Jennifer Dundas) who "isn't a midget," but who stopped growing too soon, the youngest of the bunch, Egg (Seth Green), his grandfather, Iowa Bob (Wilford Brimley) and his parents (Beau Bridges and Lisa Banes).John's father, Win, was a dreamer, or as Lilly called him, a "Gatsby," always looking for something better, for "it." Win and Mother Berry had met one summer working together at a hotel, and when Win tires of his job as a school teacher, he decides their town needs a hotel. So he buys an abandoned building that suits his needs perfectly, and transforms it into a hotel, the Hotel New Hampshire, owned and operated by the entire Berry family. And it is here that the memories of his formative years are made for John; memories like struggling with his love for his sister while she lives through a particularly traumatic experience that involves a boy of whom she is enamored, Chip Dove (Matthew Modine), and tasting love himself for the first time with a waitress at the hotel (Joely Richardson). It is also at this time that he experiences a death in the family for the first time. And, as it is in life, it won't be the last; nor will it be his final encounter with tragedy and sorrow.In this film, Richardson touches upon a number of themes that at one time (and not that long ago) would have been considered taboo in a film: Homosexuality, incest and interracial relationships. And he does it successfully by weaving them into the story naturally and objectively, without expounding upon or exploring them simply to enhance the drama. This is simply the story of the Berry family, for better or worse, with John telling it like it is while refraining from any sensationalism or judgment calls, to which the likes of a film of this nature would ordinarily be disposed. Lowe gives a convincing performance as John-- arguably some of the best work he's ever done-- and he underscores his role of narrator by making the story as much about the others as about himself, which is generous, and a good piece of acting. Foster, who would've been twenty-one or twenty-two when this was filmed (1984), displays an insight, poise and maturity well beyond her years, with a performance that is intuitively discerning and believable, and which serves the character so well while bringing her vividly to life. There is such a natural quality to Foster's acting that it makes her a joy to watch, and it makes Frannie a memorable character. The young Dundas is also very impressive in the role of Lilly and, like Foster, manages to bring the necessary maturity to the character that makes her entirely credible.The supporting cast includes Wallace Shawn (Freud), Dorsey Wright (Junior), Cali Timmins (Bitty), Anita Morris (Ronda Ray) and Walter Massey (Texan). The film is by turns poignant, funny and disturbing; one could say a succinct reflection of life. And, diverse as this story is, thematically, there will undoubtedly be one aspect of it or another to which just about anyone will be able to relate. Because that's what life is; a journey we all share, but which we take on different roads that sooner or later are bound to intersect, and which becomes the point at which we realize something that's inescapable and possibly the most important thing we will ever learn: That we are not alone in this. And, in the final analysis, that is what "The Hotel New Hampshire" is all about. And that's the magic of the movies."
Not your typical movie
Blayne T. Jensen | 02/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first wanted to see this movie because I am a fan of Jodie Foster. I rented it and found it a little muddled. I liked it, I was just confused as to what was going on in certain parts. After watching the movie, I decided to read the book (which is very, very good!!!), and I rented the movie again after a while and found it much more enjoyable. My advice is to read the book before you see the movie!!! It's an oddly entertaining film... but you might get lost without the help of John Irving's novel."
Unrelenting, spastic sequence of absurd, tasteless,unsavory
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 02/19/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE (1984) in theory should have been a fascinating, exciting movie with a lot of crowd-drawing power, from its all-star cast, made up of Jodie Foster, Nastassja Kinski, Rob Lowe and more, all in their prime ... aged 20 to 30 years, at the time.
Unfortunately, this picture was written in 1 of 3 possible ways: someone who's adapted the painting technique of throwing buckets of paint at a canvas, calling himself a painter, and the result, a painting to the movies; or someone with the mental age of 10; or someone who has not only totally lost their mind, and has lost touch with reality, in the present, and in their past.
Of course, it's a treat to see Foster, Kinski, Lowe in action, as they are truly talented, in bringing forth subtle human undercurrents, and visual expressions to the camera and audience.
But, this work apparently attempts to carry to the silver screen, a novel in the style of Kurt Vonnegut, for example, or Douglas Adams, who wrote Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, among others. I haven't read, (and now, would probably decline to ever read) the original manuscript or novel, but, most would probably give the benefit of the doubt to the underlying book author.
In terms of movie, though, there's indubitably no redeeming value to it, as it's a unrelenting, spastic sequence of absurd, tasteless, unnecessary, unsavory moments, involving taboo after taboo, intermixed with a sugar coating, to perhaps confusem, fool and mesmerize the censors or movie rating authorities.
The sugar coating of the taboos, might perhaps make palatable the underlying sequences to those with a low IQ, or perhaps to children, but for all others, including teenagers, or seniors or those with a wicked sense of humor, there's really no coherent story progressing over the 90 mins.
As such, and the best remedy is really the fast forward button on the DVD player, or, if you prefer (as was the case, in the 80's when this work was released), getting up from your chair, and walking out of the theatre."
A chopped-up mix of eccentricity in HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE
KerrLines | Baltimore,MD | 11/28/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"That the exploits of the very odd (to say the least) Berry family contains some wonderful performances from the young Jodie Foster and Rob Lowe in Tony Richardson's adaptation of John Irving's THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE goes without saying; but the chopped-up manner in which Richardson has handled Irving's narrative also goes without saying that it is a terrible hack job that flits quickly from scene to scene hardly allowing any of Irving's characters to develop, much less breathe.What we have here, in short, is a ghastly mess of a film about "passing windows" successfully without jumping out of them! There are so many themes that Richardson has drawn from Irving's novel,but not one of them is followed through successfully, and the result is a jolting ride leaving the viewer scratching their heads and saying "What was he thinking?".The only two characters that seem to survive in this film are Franny and Johnno thanks to the acting skills of Foster and Lowe respectively, as two sexual obsessed brother and sister who pine for each other.The relationship between those two is monitored more closely than the rest of this rag-tag bunch of eccentrics who are given erratic amounts of screen time which does not allow their characters to become anymore than just someone "Passing a window" of which they should have all jumped out...including Richardson.This film suffers from misguided direction and an inept screenplay adaptation.Only the performances of Foster and Lowe are at all noteworthy in this throwaway debacle! No small wonder that it took Irving,himself, to finally adapt his own work in THE CIDER HOUSE RULES before getting a proper treatment of his always odd characters!"