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Overall Rating
1.5

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 5.56%
Average: 5.56%
Pretty Bad: 22.22%
Total Crap66.67%

2 reviews, 6 user ratings


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Simpatico
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by Greg Muskewitz

"And the point of all this was where? No story either, huh?"
1 stars

"Simpatico" is one of those movies that once over, you come out thinking how stupid and pointless it is. You know it was bad, but over rumination, you discover how *really* bad it was. To save yourself any trouble, that is if you've already seen the movie, to forget it as fast as you can. Don't bother to reflect upon it, because only then do you realize how much time you've been cheated out of, not to mention money. And as for those who haven't seen it, problem solved: don't. And to think, Fine Line is pushing it for Oscar consideration. One of the sickest jokes of the year!

Lacking any cohesivity, or sense of plot, it's hard to extract anything from this. Nick Nolte is Vinnie, a schizophernic sociopath who makes people believe he's a private eye. Or maybe he is, but why then was Carter (Jeff Bridges) constantly trying to assure everyone he wasn't? All we are really given is that Vinnie has some pornographic, incriminating photos (of which we don't see until near the end of the film, and are so non-risqué, you wonder what all the hub-bub would have really been about). The movie uses falsified flashbacks hoping to breath some life into this dismal story, explaining however perplexingly, that Vinnie, Carter and Rosie (who is later on played by Sharon Stone) had gotten into some trouble by betting on horses and screwing a race official, or something along those line. Vinnie, with his photographic evidence has been able to weed large sums of money out of Carter (who inevitably is still involved with horse and upon getting a crazed call from Vinnie to come out to California, was in the process of selling a horse by the same name as the title).

"Simpatico" also stars Catherine Keener as Cecilia who starts off as and never becomes anything more than a pawn in both Vinnie's story, and the presentation of her character in the screenplay. First time director Matthew Warchus adapts Sam Shepard's play of the same name along with David Nicholls (a first time writer). It's hard to imagine as a play, but none the less, one cannot help but have the feeling that there is something that was lost in the traslation from play to script. Not once is there a sense of interest past the point of losing the audience in its non-sensical plodding. It leaves you with the sense of amazement of how they ever ended up with such a capable cast, but was left with zero in the end.

Nick Nolte was unconvincing as Vinnie, and BSed his way through the character for all the paper-thinness it was worth. The facade he put on was extremely generic and by the book. If Nolte keeps up like this, he'll be lost in the next tide of young actors to storm the screen of tomorrow. Jeff Bridges is generally hit or miss with his roles, because either they are so far out of range for him that he's totally unbuyable (The Dude in "The Big Lebowski"), or he's centered adroitly, such as in "Arlington Road," or a much smaller bit piece in "The Muse" just to mention two from this year. As aforementioned, Keener just flounders around as a simpleton pawn and gaining no more development than a stock character. The only performance which had some credibility lent to it, was by Stone, but unfortunately for the lack of benefit to the movie, she only appeared about an hour into it, and her amount of time on screen was extremely scant and limited. Just like our enjoyment of this movie --but even less!

Final Verdict: D-

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2000&reviewer=172
originally posted: 12/19/99 16:04:23
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User Comments

8/05/14 PAUL SHORTT STILTED, SLOPPY DRAMA, DESPITE GREAT PERFORMANCES 2 stars
1/03/14 Charles Tatum Odd, quirk-filled, unsuccessful melodrama 2 stars
11/05/01 Andrew Carden Nice Plot, but The Cast Seems Too Dated and Just Very Washed Out. 3 stars
8/29/01 Terrie Smith Film starts out fairly well but literally falls apart halfway through. Had potential. 2 stars
12/19/99 Qbrick A dark, eccentric tale. 4 stars
12/19/99 Mr Showbiz A fine cast can't make this stage adaptation compelling. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Dec-1999 (R)

UK
  28-Jan-2000 (15)

Australia
  N/A (M)




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