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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.21%
Worth A Look62.26%
Average: 7.55%
Pretty Bad: 3.77%
Total Crap: 13.21%

5 reviews, 23 user ratings

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Door in the Floor, The
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by Brian McKay

"Symbolism my ass - it just leads to the raquetball court."
4 stars

Jeff Bridges gets a bit nutty, Kim Bassinger gets a bit slutty, and Mimi Rogers gets more than a bit naked - sounds like a winner to me. THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR is an alternately amusing and tragic portrait of post-traumatic eccentricity, focusing on two parents who are unable to get over the loss of their two sons after a car accident.

Ted and Marion Cole (Jeff Bridges and Kim Bassinger) are a couple who have been on the rocks for years, only held together by inertia, silent misery, and the connection to their young daughter Elle (Ruth Cole). Born after the loss of their teenage sons in a car accident, and concieved as a way to fill the void in their lives, Elle has served only to remind them more keenly of what they've lost. She only knows her two brothers through the dozens of family pictures of them mounted ritualistically throughout the house by Marion, and via the stories that Ted tells her about them.

However, the husband and wife rarely talk, and while Marion becomes increasingly withdrawn, Ted, a popular children's author and college professor, chooses to act out openly through extramarital affairs. He does so under the guise of being a painter, with his M.O. being to lure women into posing for him, then seducing and degrading them before moving on to the next victim.

When a colleague approaches Ted to solicit an internship for his aspiring-author teenage son, Ted reluctantly agrees. Eddie O'Hare (Jon Foster) comes to live with the Coles for the summer, occasionally helping Ted proofread drafts of his work, but usually just acting as a chaffeur and errand boy. He gets a little unexpected compensation, however, when he is caught masturbating on Mrs. Cole's bed and, like in every teenage boy's fantasy, she isn't shocked or angry, but turned on by his attraction to her and more than willing to reciprocate. Meanwhile, things become tense between Ted and his latest model/mistress Evelyn Vaughan (Mimi Rogers), who doesn't take rejection at all gracefully when he tries to dump her.

DOOR IN THE FLOOR is one of those films that is hilarious one minute because of Ted's eccentricities, yet wistful and sad the next due to Marion's clinical depression. Each of the characters is fascinating, with each actor giving a strong performance. Foster is equally good as the lovestruck teenager who is overly defensive of Marion (who he sees as perfect, and a victim) and overly hostile toward Ted (who he sees as a disloyal, womanizing bastard - while he's sleeping with Ted's wife. Get the irony, there?). Both Ted and Marion are hiding secrets in their psyche that are never fully revealed, and it makes their actions all the more intriguing. Does Marion have the affair with Eddie because she genuinely likes him, or to get back at Ted, or to simply feel some semblance of being alive again? the answer is probably all of the above, and maybe something more. And while it seems evident that Ted still loves Marion, his womanizing is his own coping mechanism, flawed as it may be. By the end he simply seems to be seducing women on auto-pilot, having no genuine interest in the hunt anymore, but also having no idea what else to do.

The most fascinating relationship in the film, however, is between Eddie and Ted, who despise each other while also harboring a begrudging kind of affection and respect for one another as Eddie becomes a kind of surrogate son. So, there's good work all around from both the cast and director Tod Williams, who manages to impart pathos without ever letting things get too maudlin, and also manages to squeeze the most out of the funny bits, painting Ted Cole as a thouroughly amoral yet likable sort, with an embarrasingly candid yet refreshing kind of charm.

Considering that it's about two people whose lives are a wreck after suffering a horrible loss, don't expect a happy ending here. But you can expect a film with a distinct dramatic and comedic flair.

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originally posted: 01/17/05 16:53:30
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User Comments

1/07/11 evelyn hitten on all fours 5 stars
7/28/06 drydock54321 has some good moments 3 stars
2/28/06 Sully Bridges has a killer ass.....I mean Basinger, yeah, that's who I meant 4 stars
8/16/05 ES As with the Skeleton key, you have to sit through a pile of boring to get to the good parts 4 stars
7/26/05 Laura Lee Macleod poignant, central performances very good, Basinger and Bridges are good together 4 stars
6/18/05 stage artistic, but not at all moving or interesting. job well done, but why? 3 stars
5/05/05 kaz had me thinking about the movie for ages afterwards 4 stars
3/11/05 Nick Boyd Jeff Bridges gives an Oscar worthy performance 4 stars
2/02/05 Lynde Foy OMG What a long drawn out psychobabble-of-a-movie--the ending is too funny- 2 stars
1/27/05 Judy Kappen Liked it a lot 4 stars
1/26/05 lucas good performance fro Jeff; lackluster filmmaking 1 stars
12/22/04 albert jeff bridges ,best living actor in the world. 5 stars
9/05/04 ownerofdajoint basinger and bridges are both very good in this one 4 stars
8/15/04 jack sisson thought provoking and suspenseful 5 stars
8/13/04 tonycovatta Well acted, but a very disjointed script. the final symbol does not carry the burden 3 stars
8/08/04 sonia Loved this movie!!!!! 5 stars
8/02/04 Phil_Mtooth Jeff Bridges gives a wonderful performance 4 stars
7/29/04 fred wall looming cult classic, bridges superb 5 stars
7/26/04 Nuwanda Didn't know it was an adaptation, but could guess by the gaping narrative holes 2 stars
7/24/04 louise an emotional ride well worth taking 5 stars
7/19/04 twilliams606 great movie! 5 stars
7/09/04 Ray Solid drama 4 stars
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  14-Jul-2004 (R)
  DVD: 14-Dec-2004



Directed by
  Tod Williams

Written by
  Tod Williams

  Jeff Bridges
  Kim Basinger
  Mimi Rogers
  Bijou Phillips

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