Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep (Giamatti) rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make ... more »the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.« less
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 12/30/2014...
This was not a movie I would see a third time, I would have to see it twice to get the meaning.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Daniel W. from LANSING, MI Reviewed on 9/22/2012...
This is officially the movie where M. Night lost it. I for the record, liked the Village (I know im in the minority) so I had high hopes for this movie. You would expect so much more from Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard(Who was soooo good in the Village, even the haters have to admit that). Its a silly plot followed by bad acting, not much to recommend.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 5/18/2011...
Pretensious & pointless best describe this film. M Night is one of the few filmmakers working today that seems able to continue getting his movies released on the big screen no matter how awful they r.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tim T. (FireflyDaddy) from IRON CITY, TN Reviewed on 1/29/2011...
Bed Time Story? Hardly and yet the fairytale part is there. Glad my folks didn't tell me this one. I would have never slept. Scary as a adult no but as a kid (who can still believe in the thing under the bed, or in this case the pool,) yeah very. I give this fairytale story the greatest compliment it can, IT WAS REAL.
A apartment manager finds a teenage girl in the pool after hours. She seems lost alone and scared, naked as well but tastefully shot. He does something few in our world of today would do, CARE.
Some would say this is a man helping a girl get home. Yeah it is but it is also a whole apartment building full of people finding them self and making them self at home with it.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Joyce S. from COLON, MI Reviewed on 6/15/2010...
This is an awesome movie!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Alice H. (singlegalkansas) from TOPEKA, KS Reviewed on 1/20/2009...
I liked this movie. I saw in theater and I loved the story and the mysterious of the Lady in the water and where she came from.
4 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Cheryl S. (thebat2O) from TRENTON, NJ Reviewed on 5/15/2008...
This is a little quirky movie that didn't really make it in the real world but it has heart. I liked character development and it had a real nice story to it. I love that M. Night is in it (he's following in Stephen King's footsteps to be in all his movies) and does a great job as director/actor. Don't miss this little jem.
5 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
- Kasia S. | New York City | 08/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"M. Night Shyamalan doesn't do plain movies. As an artists he has his own unique approach of seeing extraordinary tales in mundane things whether its aliens, mythical beasts, ghosts or a mysterious azure pool. This tale is like no other, perhaps can be thought of as a tale of good and evil, of human purpose, common ground and understanding. When a mysterious pale woman with red hair saves an apartment superintendent, who looked like he gave up upon falling into the pool, simply because he didn't see a purpose to living, she brings hope and a sense of purpose to him and other tenants. Together they try to figure out who she is and why she came into their lives.
Story, is the name of the woman, perhaps those who save the Village, recognize her as the blind brave daughter Ivy Walker, takes on another roles this time as a narf, a word that does not really exist in an English dictionary but a word that takes on meaning by the time the movie ends. She is a fairy like creature that is on a mission and needs help from Cleveland Heep the stuttering superintendent who loses his stutter and finds his true calling. She needs to find a safe passage back to her own world, which is guarded by an evil wolf like beast, invisible to all but those who know how to find it. Together all the characters have to decipher the answers behind what she says and in all reality they have to save the modern world. She tells one of them that he will be a great orator and his book will change the world, cease wars and bring peace, she tells another that he can heal; others learn that they will have profound impact on the feuding life and who will improve life around them if they take the risks and do what she says.
This was a visually stunning and memorable movie, with hair rising music and some really jumpy special effects, especially with the wolf. Yes there are monsters and there are casualties but then there is a sense of purpose, of a mystery coming together brought upon this mysterious creature, who in my interpretation is an angel. She brings hope and love and unites those who sulk and lose their touch. It's a beautiful story that leaves one thinking long after leaving the theater, a story that feeds the soul and feeds a hungry mind ready for something different. It's a fairy tale that leaves one feeling good and light, with hope and understanding of the future. M. Night Shyamalan is such a fantasy wizard that no matter how outrageous his stories are they have a ring to truth about them. I can't wait to see what he cooks up next, for he is fabulous for those who like something special.
- Kasia S."
Please Excuse the "High Brow" Rant
Bruce Kendall | Southern Pines, NC | 05/01/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"But///what were Bill Irwin and Paul Giamatti thinking?
This is half rant///half review...and I'm cutting it short by just inserting a couple of my IMDB comments..
One only has to read the threads on this site (IMDB) to see that The Schlemielian has drawn a line in the sand and is defending himself and his crowd against critics and intellectuals of any stripe.
His mantra, and theirs, is that he is a visionary, a seer, who will guide the misbeggotten and the unread into to the new age light. He's the Huey Long of the Popcorn, neo lowbrows. The Ghandi of the neandertal movie going public, who really just want to go to movies to feel better about themslves. OK, that was a bit pompous sounding. But you get my drift.
The Enemy is the self styled intellectual...the overly literate high school English teacher who high handedly spouts Shakespeare, Milton (Hell, let's thow in Cicero and Bunyan, to thoroughly confuse the minions)and other indecipherable (to the unwashed legions (just echoing Mencken here, folks!)references that are quickly disposed of at first sign of "feel bad..can't understand" wavelengths....""lengths" being a relative term here.
What we have arrived at, via M Night and his magnum opus, LITW, is a culture war.
M Night and his enlightened "no one who dislikes this movie is properly capable of appreciating true genius" fanbase, vs. the cynics, the disbelievers, the doubting Thomases...the (God help them!) THINKERS...etc, who see beyond the fact that the Philly Emperor of Phooey is donning no clothes and has an extraordinarily thin skin beneath that scanty garb to begin witn... just read his book about the Disney Wars he "suffered" through to get this opus produced..
OK, so there have been a few back and forth exchanges on IMDB about the relative merits/demerits re this movie. Here is my latest salvo from the portside guns in response to the movie's enthusiasts:
Most of the people who dislike the movie and the director to the point that we feel the need to write about it here, discuss the film's shortcomings, frequently.
The main points:
1. Weak, sophomorically written script, with no basis in internal logic, which even in the most "out there" movie, or fairy tale, must be present to have artistic merit. And yes, The Schlemielian does insist that he is a great cinematic artiste, who, if misunderstood by his cynical, overly intellectual contemporaries, will win out in the end and be revered for ages to come by those who can embrace his message.
2. Silly characterization and overly portentious, inflated dialogue that really could have been better written by your average 8th grade English student.
3. Racial stereotypes, particularly the Korean grandmother/granddaughter, but also the Chicanos.
4. Poor lighting, and whispered dialogue, meant to obfuscate the fact that nothing was going on and that the plot was an incoherent mess.
5. Derivative of so many movies, from ET, Splash (and other Ron Howard movies..ironic, given the leading lady's heritage), and even the director's own previous films (premise: lead character has had some traumatic incident in his past (notice that all of Shamu's lead characters are male) that he must somehow work through...via some spiritual or otherworldy agency...and then arrive at self understanding and salvation.
6. Poorly set up camera shots of legs, or some other object away from the frame that again, only masks the fact that nothing of dramatic interest is occuring.
7. The Schlemielian's casting himself in a major role, without any reason other than that he is in love with his wonderful self and that directing and screenwriting just weren't quite satisfying that infamous ego itch of his.
8. Amateurish acting all around, with the excpetion of Balaban and Giamatti. Poor Paul looked as if he'd rather be anywhere, but in Philly, trying to stutter convincingly. (shout out to W.C. Fields here)
9. The ham fisted attempts at humor, with the obvious target of a film critic. Schlemielian's Revenge!! Ooooh, oooh, look at me getting back at all those snarky naysayers! Listen to the film critic's funny, self-reflexive lines! I am sooo post modern!!
10. OK, I admit it. It's a bit personal. The Shamu zombies who actually can't articulate a measured response as to the merits of this flim flam, and resort to "I liked it, so there!" "It's a fairy tale!" "Anyone who doesn't like this movie, can't understand it!" "It made me feel gooder!"
OK. There's my top ten.
Please, if you loved this movie, feel free to leave responses below. If you don't feel up to responding and you are just a Schlemielian fan, just vote not helpful and have done with it.
Fairy tale enchantment on film!
Snowbrocade | Santa Barbara, CA | 07/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Shyamalan's latest film is a quirky art film with a fairy tale sensibility. The story revolves around a sad disillusioned man, Cleveland Heep, who has given up everything after the loss of his family. Heep discovers a mystical creature, a narf, in the pool of the apartment complex he manages. Malevolent forces lurk in the gardens around the pool which she must be protected against. Ultimately this magical creature must be restored from whence she came. This quest to save the narf ends up involving many of the oddball yet normal apartment dwellers Heep has come to know over time. In the process of saving this creature, he find his own redemption and possibly hope for the future of our world.
This move has an enchanting storyline with intricate plot twists. The main stars, Paul Giamatti and Bryce Howard, are perfectly cast. Shyamalan plays a small, yet compelling role in the film. The look of the film is unadorned-these are ordinary people pursuing ordinary lives. There is humor and pathos in the lives of these people. Yet, when galvanized by the hope of something out of the ordinary and an opportunity to do good, these "normal" people gather around and give their all. In essence this film shows the magic of the everday.
This is a fairy tale on film-with all the strangeness and skewed logic of the fairy tale world. Not for those who are looking for a slick Hollywood film."
Fairy Tale Masterpiece
AIM | 07/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that my children and myself were the only ones in the theatre laughing at the many humorous moments in the movie. I am not sure why everyone was not enjoying themselves and when I got home and read the many critical reviews posted online I began to understand. This movie is not hitting home with a majority of the viewers, and it is too bad because on first viewing it appeared to me to be one of the best modern fairy tales that I have seen. I believe a part of the problem is that the trailer I saw for the film misrepresents it as a horror film. Then I believe many people are unwilling to go along with the fairy tale premise. This is a fairy tale. It is a bedtime story. So sit back relax and enjoy the story. It is a wonderful modern myth that speaks to larger issues of faith and who we are on a personel level. The movie is wonderfully shot, told, and presented. I enjoyed the way the story unfolds and the many very funny scenes. It is difficult to tell this type of story without losing the audience part way through and I felt Shyamalan did a masterful job of holding things together. This was the kind of filmgoing experience I was hoping for from Terry Gilliam's "The Brother's Grimm" but was horribly dissapointed. If you like modern day fairy tales, like good humor and are not easily confused then I would highly recommend this film. From the negative reviews I have seen and the audience I saw the film with, this film is not for everyone, but I found it a real gem."