Reality vs Fantasy
R. Gawlitta | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 12/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a warm, sweet film. Like many others, I saw it, quite by accident, on cable. I've since bought the DVD and am not disappointed. This small, independent film by James F.Robinson is brilliant in concept and delivery. Right off the bat, there are repeated references to Verdi's "La Traviata", the ultimate romantic tragic opera. Things only get better, smarter and more clever. Brendon Fraser is always charming, with his child-like wish for perfection; the rest of the cast handles their roles with aplomb; Ann Magnusen is hard as nails, Tobe Huss as Cameron is the perfect innocent friend, and the great Celeste Holm is there as the granny, delivering the best line in the film: "(He's) redefining an imperfect world in a perfect way". She's crazy as a fox, and totally endearing. The mind-blowing element here is the performance of Joanna Going as Roz, the object of the whole thing. She is perfection...centered and precise in every glance, nuance and delivery. I was very impressed. She deserves a better career, since I haven't really heard of her since. A real talent. The choices of music are also excellent, in addition to the original music of Paul Mills. A rendering of "The Wee Small Hours of the Morning" (performed by Madeleine Peyroux) is most effecive, as well as the final title song, sung by Rita Springer. This is a loving display of (almost) craziness, lovingly presented by a fine director and a stellar cast. Cynics among you may not agree, but there are still a few of us out here that think true love is possible. Also, stay tuned...after the credits are over, there's a dilightful little "stinger". What a fine film! UPDATE: 12-12-06... I just checked this out to buy a copy for a friend. I can't believe it's not available without paying over $100. That's nuts."
Still Breathing is a Breath of Fresh Air in Romance Films
J. Whitford | Falls Church, VA USA | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First time director James F. Robinson gives us a rare treat - a beautiful romance that both men and women can enjoy. I remember going to see this film when it was in theaters. I was totally surprised by the soundtrack, script and characters. The director showed off San Antonio and LA in their best colors, and created a soundtrack that is a real keeper.
The story is about a woman con artist (Joanna Goings) who has given up on love and a performance artist (Brendan Fraser) who only believes in unconditional love. They collide in their nightly dreams (before they even meet) and in their waking hours. Both characters and their friends are true to form.
Brendan Fraser's family and friends are really out there artistically, and Joanna Goings associates are out and out thieves. The transformation Joanna goes through to finally accept unconditional love and ultimately accept herself in a relationship with Brendan Fraser is truly heartwarming.
This is a movie to be savored on a rainy day when you are curled up on the couch alone or with your honey. Be forewarned. Once you get the movie, you will want the original movie soundtrack. The heady slow mix of jazz and sweet classical music is downright intoxicating.
Filmed in San Antonio
Aggie Doc | College Station | 11/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's always a surprise to find a movie actually filmed in Texas.
As a Texan I'm proud of this film because it suggests that not everyone in the state is a loudmouth blowhard. It also shows
that you don't find mountains in the background in most parts of
Texas.This is certainly an atypical Brendan Frasier film, but it shows his acting ability. He seems to be a cross between Jimmy Stewart and Hugh Grant with a gentle and humerous philosophy of life, and a Don Johnson stubble. Perhaps the lifestyle is a little too laid-back to be credible but it's a kick to see the hero as a musician/street who sometimes plays in a band with his grandmother on tuba. It is a sweet, good-hearted film, which accentuates the crass personality that is the starting place for our heroine, Goins.I ran across this film on cable and my wife loved it so much that I had to buy both the soundtrack and the DVD. It remains my own personal favorite Brendan Frasier film, and I'm not particularly a fan of "love stories". However, the enjoyment of picking out locations in San Antonio, the unique music, and the endearing performances break down my reserves about the genre."
Beautiful movie that was well thought of
Thomas Keneally | Portland, OR | 09/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie in 2000 in TV and immediately bought it. Since then, I have seen it multiple times and always discovered something new. The first time director, James Cameron, has done an amazing job in the movie. He has thought of a lot of small details and used his contacts to get an amazing cast. Brandon Fraser was OK, but it was Joanna Going and Celeste Holm that do an amazing job. It was called a chick flick, but I personally found a lot of parts that I personally could relate to. The music pieces from Chopin to La Traviata to Blues pieces were well mixed in the movie. I also found the pieces in San Marcos river with the little children very charming. Though the movie may not have outstanding screenplay, the camera work was lovely. Ann Magnusen was superb as the hard headed con woman who is Joanna's friend. I liked the first half more than the second half. It was hilarious to see how Joanna gets rid of the person, Paolo Seganti, whom she cheats with the help of Angus Macfadyen. The painting that she wishes to buy is so bad.
Some dialogs that are beautiful are when Joanna says that, "My world is about greed and money and ambition and successes." To this Fraser replies, "The basic human desires. That is funny because my opinion of art is that it is about truth and beauty and redefining an imperfect world in a perfect way." The initial part where he creates a portrait of Joanna and shows it to his friends and they completely understand it is excellent. It is almost as though they are a cult of people who live in a separate world. The music pieces and its mixing is outstanding. The parts where they have the band in the party with the tuba version of Chopin is lovely. The original music by Paul Mills is also superb. The camera work with Joanna is the dark is also special. Another special piece is the games Joanna and Fraser play with each other. There are multiple purposes to this movie, it took me a while to understand them and appreciate them. The initial one of finding true love is the obvious one, the ones underneath are also special. These include making a cynic appreciate the beauty in the world, forgiveness and so on. Overall a very scripted movie that was delightful, it took my breath away. It makes me understand the fact that a really satisfying movie does not require a lot of money to be spent on, just good thought, good cast and imaginative story with good direction. I am sorry for people who do not have the DVD of the movie. I wish that it was more easily available.