Am I the only one who didn't get all the hype?Two words:
Technically, that's one word. But I'm emphasizing it. Pretentious. Pretentious from establishing characters to the death of a character (like you didn't see it coming). I'll probably get skewered for disliking a critical darling of 1997, but I can't understand what the fuss is about.
A group of would-be swinging couples during the Watergate years. Kevin Kline doing drama (badly), Jamey Sheridan and Joan Allen looking relatively comatose, and Sigourney Weaver playing some sort of ice queen that's bored to tears. All the while in 70's clothes.
The ice storm outside is a (metaphor? symbol? analogy?) for the lives of the people inside. Thanks for striking me over the head with it. Repeatedly. The adults are sleazy. It's the 70's, man! Free love! Wife swapping! Whatever.
The adults are limited to sleeping around and looking pained. It's the kids who are worthwhile. Strong performances from the younger side of the cast, including an excellent Tobey Maguire and Christina Ricci (going from creepy to oddly sexual), plus solid turns from Elijah Wood, David Krumholtz, and the kid from Little Man Tate. Dawson's Creek fans take note: this movie also has Katie Holmes' feature film debut.
I'll say it again: pretentious. You'll probably disagree with me, and that's fine. But if you don't know what's going to happen at the film's end, then maybe this film's for you. It wasn't for me, though.Skip it.