Hillary | Brooklyn, New York | 12/30/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a film that is so negative about the possibilty of finding true love, it should be banned from sale or rental to all engaged couples. In fact, anyone who has a positive outlook on relationships and doesn't wish to wallow in the mire of adultery, divorce and human failure, should skip it altogether. I think that covers everyone who is not one of the characters in this film, or similarly inclined. ............... Sarah Jessica Parker who is the only saving grace here, is Gwen, an engaged lady who is surrounded at every turn by dysfunctional relationships. This film is not even close to reality at any point. No one knows this many unhappy people buried in illicit tawdry affairs, even if they live in Hollywood! In fact, this film tries so hard to be NOW and HIP and COOL, like this is what you can expect from todays relationships. Totally absurd. Gwens mom, played my Mia Farrow, is having an affair with her mothers aka Gwens grandmothers nurse, played by Antonio Banderas in an earlier fleeting role. Makes you wonder why he got later roles. Gwens dad is terribly upset, but mom reveals HE has been having plenty of affairs for years too. Big surprise! What is Gwen to do? Go to her brother for advice, of course. She arrives in the middle of a fight between him and his pregnant wife, they couldn't possibly be cooing on the couch happily now could they? Of course not. What is THEIR fight about? His affair with his partners model wife Naomi Campbell. Wow, let's play the interracial card possibilities here into the film for a little added zest! Of course, she isn't a single model, I said partners WIFE. Yet another wayward spouse to add to an ever growing roster of remorse. There is just NO hope for this family or anyone they touch illicitly in cheap brightly painted motels. .............. So there you have the basics. Everyone is married, everyone is miserable. They're all cheaters, liars, adulterers, and just not any sort of example for poor Gwen to reason herself into not being afraid of the possibilty of her own marriage. The poor girl, even I got depressed at the whole situation. ............. If you want to watch a movie that emphasizes all the negative possibilities of married life, here is a perfect film for the committment shy to bolster his or her argument. However, if you still believe in true love and happily ever after, you will want to avoid this like the plague. Especially don't watch this with anyone you love. Some romantic comedy, it sends a message to the faithful like THEY have the problems. If you are curious, go ahead and watch. Don't say I didn't warn you."
Light woody-allen parody
Rottenberg's rotten book review | nyc | 01/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Miami Rhapsody stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Gwynn Marcus, one of several sibs of a prominent, wealthy, Jewish and dysfunctional family in Miami. Though things seem okay on the outside, tangled relationship problems threaten every quarter of the family. Her brother Jordan (Kevin Pollack) cheats on his pregnant wife with a high-strung model (Naomi Campbell); Her sister's (Carla Gugino) new husband is a pro-football player plagued by career insecurities and terminal cheapness; both of her parents (Mia Farrow and Paul Mazursky) cheat on each other; and she remains unhappy if only because she's the sort of person who's so concerned about happiness that she must strangle the happiness out of wherever it pops up in her life. Though she's engaged, Gwynn soon finds herself attracted to the male nurse (Antonio Banderas) who cares for the family's stroke-ridden grandmother."Rhapsody" is a lot like an overlong episode of "Sex and the City" without the neat closure of that show's half-hour snippets or the materialism or communal honesty of that show's leads. Gwynn obsesses over Miami and sex, noting that both are extremely popular despite the inherent messiness of either. I had never seen "SatC" when catching this flick back in '95. Instead I recognized the flick as more of a parody of Woody Allen movies - the sort of rambling flick centered around a city (not NYC this time) and the hang-ups of those who endure it. The cinematography, Gwynn's neuroses (the film opens with Gwynn lamenting to a therapist), casting of Mia Farrow and even the opening credits hint at one of those small Woody Allen flicks that breezes through town without warning. "Rhapsody" works mostly on its stars' ernestness but also depends on some familiarity with that sort of Woody-ish kind of film. I doubt anybody who's never seen an Allen film will find this film more than amusing. Despite its dark take on marriage and relationships, I eventually married the girl I took to see it."
A Fun Walk Down Romantic Comedy/ Light-hearted Film Lane
Rottenberg's rotten book review | 12/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed watching this film, and give it three and a half stars. This film is one to rent when you just want to kick back and laugh a little. It is entertaining and light, and clever in parts. It's good for the kind of night when you're not in the mood for subtitles because you'd have to actually read them. :) Think "When Harry Met Sally," "You've Got Mail," or "Playing By Heart." I'd have been sad to miss it at the video store, as it is sweet in its heart, and had me laughing out loud more than once. The film is about a family of three adult children and their parents, and the love lives of all of them. It starts with Sarah Jessica Parker's character (Gwyn) getting engaged, and her sister getting married. From there, things get a little messy. Gwyn, unsure of the state of her union (to-be), goes to her mother for advice about marital life. What she finds then is that her mother is having an affair. Shocked and surprised at first, Gwyn anxiously watches as her inner circle of family and friends fall prey to infidelity/relationship-confusion one by one, with no happy outcome in sight. As her wedding day draws near, she must come to some conclusion about her own impending marriage. Should she tie the knot, or are there existing problems in her relationship which would only be made worse by a walk down the aisle? She obsesses. She stresses. She considers dating her mother's lover!Along the way, there are funny scenes and conversations, and a lot of the type of banter (especially from Jessica Parker) that made Sex and the City such a runaway hit. Parker's role here is reminiscent of her role on Sex and the City. As in that show, she plays a writer, here an ad-writer who reluctantly sets her sights on writing for sitcoms. She has trouble along the way, though, as her work is considered "too creative." This was classic SJP mode, as she is both sexy *and* smart! Jessica Parker may be tinier than most women (or men) I've ever seen, but she packs a wallop when it comes to magnetic acting and comedy skill. Her energy always shines on-screen, and this film is no exception. Gil Bellows (from TV's Ally McBeal) does a decent job playing her zoologist fiance who may or may not move to Africa when his career dictates that he should. There are patches of chemistry between them, and they are believably matched.Mia Farrow's performance as Gwyn's mother is indeed reminiscent of her acting in her ex's (Woody Allen's) films. Farrow's husband in the film is strong in his role, as are other supporting actors, especially Carla Gugino, as Gwyn's sister, a lusty newlywed. One lackluster standout as far as the acting is Naomi Campbell. She may be one of the most beautiful women on the planet, but she really could do with figuring out whether or not to keep that British accent when playing in an American film, and how to get excited about acting/learn to lose herself in her role instead of striding her way through it as if she's merely rehearsing her lines. I have to say that, unlike another reviewer on this page, I really *like* the one-liners that appear in this film, and in shows like Sex and the City. What can I say, they make me laugh, and that can't be that bad, can it? This film is funny and has some great lines, including some banter about election woes,this time about Bush *Senior*, and Ross Perot. :) (The film came out in '95). Watching it so soon after Indecision 2000, and feeling many of the same things myself in reference to George Junior this time around was an unexpected highlight.As an aside, another thing I liked about the film was that it touched on all three generations: Gwyn's, her parents, and her grandparents (specifically, her grandmother, who, after a series of strokes, might not say much, but who showed grace and kindness with her smile, her eyes, and the touch of her hands.) I like that the film had this window into a nursing home/elderly life. People need to remember their elders more than they do these days. The film also briefly made the point that we shouldn't be too selfish in our lives, when we consider the horrors that previous generations have had to endure on a daily basis. Here, the experience of the grandmother having to flee the Nazis when she was a young woman. Jessica Parker's character says, in essense, people used to have real problems, war, etc, etc, [but] "I couldn't live a month without cable TV and a shower. We're a generation of weaklings." So some hints of deepness do exist in this shallow-ish romantic comedy! Overall, I think Miami Rhapsody is a cute little film which will perhaps be enjoyed most by fans of Sex and the City and similar works."