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Overall Rating
3.24

Awesome: 24.19%
Worth A Look: 17.74%
Average27.42%
Pretty Bad: 19.35%
Total Crap: 11.29%

4 reviews, 38 user ratings


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Simon Birch
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by the Grinch

"Buena Vista Presents:'Jim Henson's Billy Barty Babies'!"
3 stars

Did I earn my ticket to hell with that quote? I should have some serious frequent flyer miles racked up by now. Here's my 'Manic Martha Stewart' recipe for this film: Bring 2 quarts Patch Adams styled oscar-grovelling smaltz to a boil, add 1 cup of the sappiest moments from Stand By Me and let stand (by me)...lightly sprinkle with some decent actors and a good message. Walla! Simon Birch, serves 4. And I don't mean that in a Jonathan Swift way.

Obviously, my cooking is about as good as my rapping (See 'Bulworth' review). This film isn't really all that bad. It's contrived as all hell, and you can bet that it often plays like an episode of 'Touched By an Angel' (Not to be confused with my in-development script called 'Molested By an Anglo:The Bob Packwood Story'). There is however a couple of good performances here and there, and even though I'm a cynical git, I can't fault the script's message of personal faith and purpose. There's enough cynicism out there anyways...I should know because I supply about %20 of it. So, as far as attempting something difficult, Simon B gets an A for effort from me.

The cast was pretty well-rounded...however, why do I get the feeling this movie tries to rip off 'Stand By Me' right down to the voice over narratives? Jim Carrey sure ain't no Richard Drypuss. Also, was it really necessary for the title character to make a goofy face everytime some shenanigans were about to take place? I thought that was Sly Stallone's territory.

Ashley Judd makes an appearance, and the movie goes out of its way having the men & boys drool and stammer over her beauty. (SPOILER) I'm sorry, but when that baseball cold-cocked her, I half expected them to all fight over giving her CPR. Oliver Platt puts in a fine performance as a love interest (not as scary as it sounds). I'm also glad to see that Jan Hooks is still working and hasn't fallen victim to the Saturday Night Live curse...that is to say, not overdosing or dying violently. She's good in everything & I wish she got more lines. The kid playing the excitable Simon Birch did suprisingly well considering this was probably his first film role. Cheap jokes aside, he was good for somebody with no acting experience. I hope Peter Jackson or somebody casts him in 'Lord of the Rings' before George Lucas has him throwing acorns and pulling slapstick gags with a step'n'fetchit CGI penis or something.

Rent it only if you aren't repulsed by feel-good type films. Otherwise, Simon Birch just plays out like a poor facsimile of the much better Forrest Gump...

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=65&reviewer=156
originally posted: 12/19/99 17:00:42
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User Comments

8/12/11 jiropan tearjerking film..... 5 stars
10/04/08 Iris Verna Heart felted movie? It put no felt in MY heart! 2 stars
1/16/08 breanna kramer i love this movie it is my favorite 5 stars
1/30/07 keiwi i'd love this heart felted movie to death!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/09/06 Jessica great film, deeply touching. 5 stars
10/20/06 coocooo great movie 1 stars
7/11/06 David Cohen The main character was a jerk, I hate jerks, even short ones 1 stars
5/15/06 Shannen OMG!! the end was so sad all my friends and i were crying!! 4 stars
1/17/06 Agent Sands This movie makes me cry like a little bitch. 5 stars
12/15/05 kamin it was awesome! 5 stars
7/27/05 noli mark alcordo it is nice 3 stars
2/04/05 What've coffee & donuts got to do with God? Well, God is hol(e)y and too much god can make you jittery. 3 stars
1/14/05 Kathy ter Plugg Shows Trashley Dudd CAN play civilized roles -- she just doesn't want to. What a shame! 2 stars
6/15/04 Gray see mitch's comment 1 stars
4/05/04 DM Some decent acting but it tried way too hard to make my cry - I wanted to vomit. 2 stars
10/20/03 Samuel Justus A great movie, but very sad climax! 5 stars
6/09/03 JoAnne Hurley Nothing great, but I give it an extra star because I can't remember Ashley Judd being in it 3 stars
9/05/02 Chancey Thunderpants Boring movie. Only fitting place for this is FOX Family Channel. Too sappy. 1 stars
1/15/02 Andrew Carden Bland Movie. It's Supposed To Be Good, but Tries Too Hard, and Litterally Explodes. 2 stars
10/17/01 Joe Miller A good movie- it really makes you look at Simon's message 4 stars
8/08/01 ted v. it's one of the better films Hollywood produced. deeply touching 5 stars
3/27/01 BART The reason why he believes in God 4 stars
2/27/01 Franbel Its the best movie i have ever seen in the whole world. 5 stars
12/28/00 Turtle Just spectacular. It should've won Best Picture for 1999! 5 stars
9/20/00 Jed Excellent piece of cinema one of 1998's finest. 5 stars
11/20/99 Lashundra Bryson A good film that makes you appreciate life, family, and friendship. 5 stars
11/04/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster BooHoo , my heart is breaking . What a shameless act to cash in the easily inpired FORSHAME 2 stars
12/24/98 Lou Pine, Jr. "Based on"? This is the shameless, saccharine butchering of a worthwhile John Irving novel. 2 stars
10/27/98 Hunk@prodigy.net two bikers in the row behind us were bawling by the time the film ended. Damn Good Movie 5 stars
10/24/98 grunter a little too afterschool special/Hallmark; not enough bitter in its bittersweet 4 stars
10/19/98 Dark Horizons Extremely delightful and at times awe-inspiring. 5 stars
10/17/98 Mr Showbiz So relentlessly maudlin that even a distinguished supporting cast can't save it. 3 stars
9/23/98 Angela M zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............... 1 stars
9/20/98 katherine it was slright. but did he have 2 grag her boobs? i mean, that had 2 hurt. 4 stars
9/20/98 Negative Creep This is One of those typical feelgood hollywood films. I loved every fucking minute of it 5 stars
9/14/98 Como Erectus Judd is awesome, the rest plod. 3 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor THE UGLIEST FUCKING KID IN FILM. OH, YEAH. 1 stars
9/09/98 Karl Denninger A little retard kid with the kung fu grip 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Sep-1998 (PG)
  DVD: 11-Nov-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  29-Apr-1999 (PG)




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