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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 6.25%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 7.81%

1 review, 58 user ratings

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Nosey Parker
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by Chris Parry

"The great American hometown love letter."
5 stars

Plenty of movies aspire to bring you back to where you were born and show you what you’re missing, but seldom have has a film so found itself perfectly in tune with what makes rural Americana special as this homespun vision of love, friendship and family. Nosey Parker is the kind of film that you can take your grandmother to and come out of it with a better relationship with her. It’s the kind of film that you could watch seventeen times and never get bored of. It’s the kind of film that could only be made by a man who lists his address as “Landgoes Farm, Turnbridge Vermont.” While we’re all in LA or New York trying to make the next great action hero blockbuster, Writer/Director/Editor/Producer John O’Brien (Man With a Plan) has quietly assembled a quilt of varying emotions that promises to bring at least one tear to the eye of anyone who sits down before it. Take it from a jaded bastard; if you don’t come out of this film applauding and hoping that co-lead Natalie Picoe is on the verge of something great in her acting career, you need therapy – plain and simple.

Happily married and ultra-successful yppies Natalie (Picoe) and Richard (Richard Snee) decide to move from their Connecticut home to a dream-house in the hills of Vermont. Having purchased their million-dollar home and spent additional cash making it just right for themselves, they’re somewhat startled to open the door one day to ‘the listers’ – a group of elderly locals who visit homes in the area to assess the land tax rate that the owner will be charged in the coming year.

See, the listers aren’t quite all there. They’re perhaps a little senile, getting on a bit in years and very much taking their only chance to stickybeak into every corner of the big home. One of them in particular, old George (George Lyford) goes on a wander and checks out everything from dollhouses to faucets, medicine collections and the view from the loft. This engagement of the new folks and the old sets the scene for the rest of the film; idle gossip tspreads amongst the locals as their distrust of anything new threatens to make the new kids in town pariahs, while our yuppie heroes are finding the surrounds not quite as much fun as they’d hoped.

But while Nosey Parker could have become (and I’d suggest originally was) a story about the mutual distrust between locals and outsiders, the odd relationship that slowly grows between old crusty country boy George and young suburban Natalie overruns everything else and takes this film to places few others have gone before. O’Brien barely scripted this film, instead letting his actors (many of which had never acted before) just go out and be themselves, and that’s where the real beauty of Nosey Parker comes from. Filled with country characters that you seldom speak to unless they're selling apples on the Interstate, the personality of these folks shines through in ways that could not be performed by an actor. When George looks at Natalie, he’s not trying to look at her like he loves her, you can see that George really does. He’s not an actor lying to you, he's just an old guy who could have spent his failing years in a chair and instead is having the chance of a lifetime – the chance to make a movie and make friends with a few young people and do something different.

On the other hand, Natalie Picoe could not possibly exude any more personality than she does here, and once again you’d have to say that’s because she’s not acting, she’s simply talking on film to an old guy that she really feels affection for. I'm not talking ‘love’ love here, the relationship isn’t sexual at all. Rather, it’s the love that comes when an old man who likes to chat meets a young woman who likes to listen.

The two of them light up the screen; Picoe looking every bit as striking as Julia Roberts on her best day, yet maintaining a mature maternal presence that makes you look beyond her external beauty to the person beneath. When she smiles, you’d swear an extra filter had to be put on the camera to keep the glare down. George at the same time smiles a far more mischievous smile, as he rattles of corny jokes and finds ways to make one word replace eighteen.

I could go on and on about what makes this film special and I’d never cover all the ground that’s worth covering. Suffice it to say that nobody who gets up in the morning and rushes to work, only to rush home to bed and repeat the process next day should miss this film. You’ll not only love it, you’ll call your dad afterwards and tell him things he hasn’t heard in a while.

Crusty old lead George Lyford isn't around anymore, having left this mortal coil between finishing the film and it being ready to watch. That knowledge only adds to the emotion on screen, and George Lyford will forever be remembered by people who see this movie, for all the best reasons a person could be remembered.

Nosey Parker is the best of Americana in a one and a half hour feature film experience that brings the fast-paced of us back to see what we’ve been missing all these years, and tells the slow-paced ones amongst us that maybe if you take the effort there’s a little you can learn from the city folk. In short, like It’s A Wonderful Life, this is a film to own, adore and watch with your family every holiday season. I plan to do just that.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/18/03 12:39:15
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
10/13/13 David H. Why can more movies be this good? 5 stars
10/21/09 Halona Could you help me. It is not enough to do good; one must do it the right way. Help me! I fi 5 stars
12/11/07 Wendy I smiled all the way through this movie 5 stars
6/27/07 Carol Kennedy Nickerson John, your depiction of Uncle George and VT living is unmatched. Thank you for this film. 5 stars
12/28/06 Karen It was absolutely fabulous. It was the best film my husband and I have seen in many years. 5 stars
10/11/06 mike picow wonderful 5 stars
10/08/06 Rebecca C. I loved it. It was real Vermont. I love Natile She was wonderful! 5 stars
9/17/06 Pidy Miranda is out of touch with the "locals". The movie is the real Vermont 5 stars
3/06/06 Prudy Wholey I loved the movie. Wish I'd met George. 5 stars
12/10/04 Nancy Absolutely loved it! Want to buy it for weekend company to enjoy. 5 stars
9/09/04 Marge Heartwarming anad memorable. Puts me in a happy frame of mind. 5 stars
8/22/04 Steffie Buerk Beautiful, wonderful movie- we ran out and bought it!! 5 stars
7/25/04 Barbara A "Vermont" film. Got a little slow, but overall a fun "homey" film. 4 stars
6/08/04 Joe Deeter AMAZING, WONDERFUL - it made me speechless! 5 stars
6/08/04 Charles M. Allen Park your nose in front of Nosey Parker 4 stars
5/17/04 Greg The Most Absurdly Terrible Film Ever Made- So Bad, I Laughed Through the Whole Thing! 1 stars
2/29/04 Don Genuine & true 5 stars
1/26/04 Paulette I will ALWAYS remember this movie and Geroge with MUCHO FONDNESS! 5 stars
10/28/03 Charlie Shene It was Great. Very Entertaining. I loved it. 5 stars
9/30/03 Deb Tucker Amazing, breath-taking in the eye and the heart. 5 stars
9/29/03 Jeff Being a "flatlander" myself I could empathize with what this couple immensely. I loved it!! 5 stars
9/28/03 dianna Who's this miranda person? SHE'S full of crap. This film is Vermont as I know it. 5 stars
9/28/03 Lisa Very Funny Movie, Can't Wait to see it again 5 stars
9/28/03 Kelly George is my hero! Absolutely loved this movie. 5 stars
9/28/03 Lori Great movie, such a quaint town with real people & gorgeous scenery. BRAVO! 5 stars
9/25/03 Elizabeth This was an absolutely hilarious, wonderful film. I recommend it to anyone 5 stars
9/19/03 S.Sathre Fabulous movie - A Real Good Time 5 stars
8/24/03 Sondra Kleinman John Sales watch out. Wonderful movie! 5 stars
8/20/03 miranda false sentiments-I am from this area and actually know some of the local actors,etc. 1 stars
8/20/03 miranda I am from this area and this is crap!!!! 1 stars
8/01/03 Chaz Longue Utterly charming. 4 stars
7/21/03 David Rochefort Great! A must see!! 5 stars
7/14/03 Martin Katz A wonderful glimpse of rural Vt meeting sophisticated big city folk. 5 stars
6/17/03 David Ness I spent time as a City Kid in Vt, and this film captures the spirit of that 5 stars
6/06/03 Bill Brine This is a film I could watch over and over. Where can I get a dvd copy? 5 stars
6/03/03 Ryan Terrific, warm movie 5 stars
6/02/03 Ken Brown Perfect little gem. Fantastic scenery, wonderful chemistry. More, more, John. 5 stars
5/04/03 jeremy mcfarlin awesome movie , reminds me of times in chelsea well thought out 5 stars
5/02/03 Bluto McBlurt Great flick, though a little too meandering for many tastes. 4 stars
4/29/03 Ed Bonoyer If I didn't already live there this movie would make me want to move there. 5 stars
4/18/03 Jason Morrison The funniest film I've ever seen. Way too real. 5 stars
4/12/03 Dave Otis A great movie, real and very funny. 5 stars
4/09/03 Lorin Collins A must see for all rural folks and flatlanders alike!! 5 stars
4/08/03 David Corriveau Simultaneously universal, and dead on about this part of the world and its people. 5 stars
4/02/03 HE funny 5 stars
4/01/03 Marcos Miller Light, Entertaining, Wholesome, "Vermont", Great Family Movie! 5 stars
3/29/03 Janet Osha A must see! Just what we need right now! 5 stars
3/27/03 David Rochefort Wow! Great, 'true life' depiction of the interaction between urban and rural America. 5 stars
3/27/03 Tom Ayres Wise homage to tolerance, reconciliation, & the passage of a pastoral way of life. 5 stars
3/26/03 Grandma Sara Picow Wonderful movie with great people 5 stars
3/25/03 lisa No good 1 stars
3/24/03 Ashley Lyford Lincoln Amazing! An accurate portrayal of Gramp - a kind, genuine man with a heart of gold. 5 stars
3/24/03 David Picow A witty, heartwarming FUN movie. 3rd viewing and only gets better 5 stars
3/23/03 Linda Ackerman Wonderful! Natalie Picoe is incredible. She reminds me of my daughter. Great!!! 5 stars
3/23/03 Ken Colby Great Movie but a bit emotional for me and my family as George was my "Gramp". 5 stars
3/22/03 Chas Weaver Very Good film 5 stars
3/22/03 Homer Parsegian Powerful, gripping, and serene - a gem of a story 5 stars
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Directed by
  John O'Brien

Written by
  John O'Brien

  George Lyford
  Natalie Picoe
  Richard Snee

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