Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grand Canyon (1991)

L.A. Movie #3

Synopsis: Nice, liberal, middle-class white family comes to startling realization there are black people living in L.A.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “When a lawyer’s (Kevin Kline) car breaks down in a dangerous Los Angeles neighbourhood, a tow-truck driver (Danny Glover) arrives just in time to save his life. The two men begin a deep friendship that sets off a chain of unsettling and surprising events involving their families and friends for years to come.”

What Did I Learn?: Death-bed (or in this case, near-death bed) gestalt realizations about life, the universe and everything, generally don’t last too long.

Really?: 1) If I were genuinely afraid for my life in a bad neighbourhood, I think I might wait by the payphone in the convenience store, and ask for the tow truck to meet me there. Waiting by a car that clearly isn’t going anywhere seems a bit dumb. 2) So, Kline fixes the only African-American man he knows up with the only African-American woman he knows, and – they hit it off? I’ve been on enough blind dates to know that seems a tad unlikely.

Rating: Grand Canyon is a nice, feel-good movie about life in the big city, and breaking down barriers between upper middle class-and poor, black and white, young and old, urban and suburban, etc... Kline and Glover share some great scenes together, while Steve Martin nearly steals the movie as scummy Hollywood movie turd. At 134 minutes, however, Grand Canyon starts to drag near the end, and some of the sub-plots (Kline has a one-time-only affair with his secretary, and she wants him back) seem superfluous. 8.5/10 stars.

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