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Overall Rating
4.22

Awesome53.38%
Worth A Look: 29.05%
Average: 6.76%
Pretty Bad: 7.43%
Total Crap: 3.38%

13 reviews, 70 user ratings


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Wonder Boys
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by EricDSnider

"A bad ending to a smart, funny film."
4 stars

In "Wonder Boys," Michael Douglas plays Grady Tripp, a novelist/college professor who's been working on his latest book for seven years, whose wife has just left him, and whose mistress (Frances McDormand) has just announced she's pregnant.

Furthermore, his student/tenant Hannah (Katie Holmes) keeps coming on to him, his editor Terry Crabtree (Robert Downey Jr.) is in town demanding the finished book, and his star pupil James (Tobey Maguire) has just shot the chancellor's dog.

While things aren't going too well for Grady, they go marvelously for this film, a smart, soft-centered comedy in which Michael Douglas gets to stop being Michael Douglas and play a real character.

Grady is disheveled, unkempt, even slovenly in his appearance. The reason he takes any interest at all in the often-fibbing James is that he sees James as a younger version of himself. Grady has been through several wives and now suffers from both writer's block and diarrhea of the typewriter (he's up to page 2,000-something, yet still has no idea what he's writing about). He also drinks too much and occasionally has black-outs. If he can put James on the right track, maybe he can not only prevent this from becoming James' fate, but perhaps straighten himself out, too.

Maguire, ordinarily a likable young fellow (though often unfathomably mild and wooden), really comes to life here, showing us James' deep, lonely, literary soul.

Sadly, for as intelligent as "Wonder Boys" is most of the way through, its finale is puzzlingly neat and tidy. The characters' fates are reasonable, but the rushed-at manner in which those destinies are arrived at makes you wonder, boy.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1857&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/07/03 13:01:21
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User Comments

5/28/15 Anne Hoping it would get better, it didn't. 1 stars
7/01/08 The Main Ingredient Brilliant Michael Douglas!, always plays a good stoner, in my top 10 of all time, must see 5 stars
10/04/07 The Film Maker I love movies like this. Great story, character driven, great acting except for one or two. 4 stars
9/19/07 yuko downey jr. was excellent as usual!! 5 stars
6/06/07 fools♫gold Sometimes people can be oh so dense. A great list of Bob Dylan tracks. 5 stars
12/28/06 Agent Sands I watch it every Christmastime. It has the ambiance of that festive, snowy holiday season. 5 stars
6/21/06 Sydney Finally: a gritty, unselfconscious story about writing 5 stars
8/17/05 ES Why is it that cinema now a days must have homo-erotica (token gay) to be considered good? 1 stars
7/30/05 Gabby Master Hell I liked it, not perfect but it has a good mood to it 4 stars
5/28/05 Indrid Cold Maybe I'm off base, but it seemed incredibly ponderous and uninteresting. 2 stars
11/11/04 andreea just loved it 5 stars
3/12/04 Monica Most realistic college movie ever! 5 stars
1/08/04 A F Pass it. 4 stars
12/23/03 tatum Inspiring, wonderful 5 stars
11/29/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) One of the most effective feel-good movies I can think of. Great Xmas movie. 5 stars
10/24/03 laurabetty Douglas impressed me! first time for everything! 5 stars
7/25/03 elizabeth parsadanian tobey maguire is just so so so so so cute 3 stars
3/10/03 I didn't see this movie in the theater. I am very sorry. Matt Thiel 5 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Simply stupendous! The best film of 2000. 5 stars
11/10/02 Daniel Magnificent cast (particularly Tobey McGuire), very off-beat kind of story. Enjoyable. 4 stars
11/09/02 Steve insomnia cure 1 stars
10/30/02 spacecowboy it is indeed VERY DAMN GOOD...:) 5 stars
9/25/02 y2mckay Need to see again before proper review, but Mike Douglas the shiznit as stoned English prof 5 stars
11/30/01 James Cole Awesome 5 stars
8/29/01 Gary Maguire, Downey Jnr. and Douglas are all fantastic in a wonderfully warm and funny film. 5 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk So good. To bad no one saw it. McGuire is great, so is Douglas. Beautiful soundtrack. 5 stars
7/30/01 Turd Ferguson I figured I could have this movie on while I did my laundry and cl 5 stars
7/14/01 Paul C. One of the most uncontrived comedies I've ever see, not to mention a great story. 5 stars
6/12/01 Gizzy The most pretentious, thoroughly UNentertaining piece of self-indulgent rubbish ever 1 stars
6/10/01 Phil M. Afficianado The Angry Jew has said it all. Bravo for a great film all around. 5 stars
5/25/01 BrainPan What the crunk do you mean by "artsy?" 5 stars
5/23/01 Monday Morning Understated & stellar, but why couldn't they have shot a cat instead of a dog? 4 stars
4/29/01 R.W. Welch Entertaining, could have been a hit if a little less artsy. 4 stars
4/17/01 Jesse Gets better with each viewing. A real gem. 5 stars
4/15/01 Jake Brilliant film with clever dialogue and writing. 5 stars
4/09/01 PatrickG. Some good dialogue, but just an average movie. 3 stars
3/16/01 The Bomb 69 a "real" movie, something I could relate too, Hollywood ending though 5 stars
1/08/01 A.K. great performances, excellent story. an overlooked film 5 stars
12/02/00 Gray Movie of the year. Great acting from Douglas & Downey Jr, but Tobey Maguire is the star. 5 stars
11/25/00 TigerShark As dumb as 'Being John Malkovich'. Don't see it unless you like paying $7 for dogshit!! 1 stars
11/13/00 frankko great flick. the entire cast was super. 5 stars
10/31/00 Philm Phreak Haven't seen a better movie this year (except High Fidelity) 5 stars
10/27/00 Krista Clark Robert Downey Jr. deserves an Academy Award for this incredible performance! 5 stars
9/06/00 bornslippy Great witty comedy, a nice change from the crude shit teen comedies 5 stars
8/16/00 Drew Vogel Not great, but solid... this year, that's rare 4 stars
8/15/00 Pierce Lanson Douglas most surprisingly good, wonderful performances, funny, warm, loved it. 5 stars
8/09/00 matthew smith A superbly acted film 5 stars
7/27/00 Mr J M HARWOOD Really cleaver (not enough Katie Holmes though) 5 stars
4/11/00 kohawk If you didn't at least mildly enjoy this, well, you have shit for brains. Well acted. 4 stars
4/08/00 burton t. e. miller disturbing and unneccesary gay scene ruined the whole thing 2 stars
4/03/00 PJ I really Loved this movie, it was beautiful, original, and it inspires, I want to write. 5 stars
3/24/00 BILL What a disconnected mess of a life. Poorly written and even more poorly directed. 3 stars
3/23/00 Richie Wonder Boys was a boring piece of crap. Childish story. Seen it all before. 2 stars
3/22/00 maureen awesome! michael douglas in a good movie for a change!!! 5 stars
3/21/00 Terrance Phillip Very good flick, I saw that Mar@$@## movie and pretty much wanted to write hollywood off! 5 stars
3/19/00 Adam Top notch script, superb acting. 5 stars
3/19/00 Deckard Plot goes nowhere,yet still manages to fall apart over last half hour. 2 stars
3/17/00 schmegs pretty kick ass 5 stars
3/14/00 Julia i'm gonna take a long lunch and go watch this one again tomorrow. 5 stars
3/12/00 Louis I really enjoyed this movie. 5 stars
3/10/00 Dirty Dave Capone Great movie! Very funny! 5 stars
3/06/00 dface ehhh... not too great, ok if you like pot smoking profs. 3 stars
3/03/00 f*r*o*s*t*y Love it, you gotta see it. 5 stars
3/03/00 Tim Krauss A must for anyone who likes quality movies and Bob Dylan music. 5 stars
3/02/00 Heather Enjoyable, funny movie, the sight of the dog in the trunk was worth the ticket price alone 4 stars
3/01/00 PhilmPhreak Great job by all!! 4 stars
3/01/00 lyngweni most boring 2 stars
2/29/00 Captain Highcrime Entertaining--not the best o' the year (yet), but damn good show all the same. 4 stars
2/29/00 Natasha I wanted more time with many of the characters 4 stars
2/27/00 "Persnickety "Jenn it was good, not what i was expecting but worth seeing 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Feb-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Aug-2000 (M)




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