“Is it just me, or is this a day late?!?!”

The Couch Potato Report – November 10th, 2004
In The Couch Potato Report this week, a worthy sequel and a not unworthy remake.
Have you ever wondered if the characters in films you love have stayed together?
Ever wondered what happened years after that happy ending?
For instance, did Vivian and Edward live happily ever after PRETTY WOMAN?
Is Harry still meeting Sally?
And are Bill and Ted still with the princesses they met while on their excellent adventure?
Okay, perhaps that last one wasn’t your standard romantic comedy. But then again, neither was BEFORE SUNRISE.
And if you’ve ever wondered what happened to Jesse and Celine after that film, you now have your answer.
BEFORE SUNRISE came out in 1995 and it remains a passionate and intelligent film about a chance encounter between two people on a train that incites a spontaneous expedition to Vienna.
In the course of their 14-hour Viennese relationship, Jesse and Celine walked, talked, and got to know each other in what was a unique cinematic meeting of romance and intelligence.
Then, just before sunrise, the pair agreed to meet back in Vienna six months later.
Have you ever wondered if the characters in films you love have stayed together?
This year’s release of BEFORE SUNSET definitively answers whether or not Jesse and Celine ever made it back to Vienna to see each other again.
I loved BEFORE SUNRISE, and I was anxious to find out more about Jesse and Celine nine years later.
BEFORE SUNSET didn’t let me down. I completely enjoyed seeing the pair together again.
I also enjoyed the fact that the original creative team of actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and writer/director Richard Linklater have returned to make the film. I would have felt cheated if another writer or director was giving us this follow-up.
In this follow-up, Jesse has written a book about the pair’s Vienna trip and he is in Celine’s home town of Paris on his book tour.
She comes to see him and the two get together and begin to catch up on how the other has been doing with the other’s life in the eighty minutes that Jesse
has before his flight back to the United States.
The fact that he only has eighty minutes is important to point out because the entire film plays out in real time. There is not a single wasted moment between the end of the opening credits and the start of the closing credits.
Once again we get to watch the two as they walk and talk about everything from career to sex to misconceptions about the last time they were together.
Do they stay together at the end of this encounter? Did they meet up six months after their first meeting?
You won’t get any answers from me. I don’t want to rob you of one second of the ongoing or back story story that is revealed in BEFORE SUNSET.
What I will reveal is the fact that BEFORE SUNSET is a unique cinematic window that lets us look at two lives intersecting years after a hopelessly romantic fling.
On its own, BEFORE SUNSET is moving and wonderful. If you watch it – as I did – right after BEFORE SUNRISE, it will break your heart.
And it might also get you thinking about the one, or ones, that got away. Either in real life or in the movies.
Years from now, I’m sure the actors, writers and cast of the remake of THE STEPFORD WIVES will be thinking about their movie. A movie that got away.
Nicole Kidman from THE HOURS and MOULIN ROUGE is a woman who gets fired as president of a television network and has a nervous breakdown.
Matthew Broderick from ELECTION and YOU CAN COUNT ON ME is her husband. He decides to move the family to a simple Connecticut town called Stepford to recuperate.
But in Stepford the less than perfect husbands congregate at a closed-doors men’s club, while the wives do nothing but cook, clean and exercise to keep their hourglass figures.
Along with her friends Bette Midler and the very funny Roger Bart, Kidman soon discovers that the mastermind of Stepford has used cybernetics to
“perfect” womankind.
If the name THE STEPFORD WIVES sounds familiar thats because this is a remake of a movie from 1975.
The original was sociopolitical horror flick. This new version doesn’t know what it wants to be. Serious, comedic, campy, dramatic?
It doesn’t know and since the tone of it is all over the place, it is a movie that is very hard to like, or recommend.
But THE STEPFORD WIVES isn’t as bad as I, or anyone thought it was going to be. No, it isn’t great, but it isn’t horrible.
This is one of those movies that benefits from the fact that people’s expectations going in are quite low, and thus, it isn’t great, but it isn’t horrible is how its described.
No, THE STEPFORD WIVES isn’t a complete waste of your time, but it isn’t a must see either.
THE STEPFORD WIVES and BEFORE SUNSET are both available now at your
favourite local video store.
In the new holiday classic ELF Will Ferrell from OLD SCHOOL and
ANCHORMAN is a young human is raised as an elf at the North Pole. James
Caan and Mr. Bob Newhart round out the cast with the lovely Zooey
Also next week, the washed up Vin Diesel stars in THE CHRONICLES OF
RIDDICK as an escaped convict who finds himself in the middle of a war.
For some reason Dame Judi Dench and the very talented Thandie Newton
also agreed to star in what is a really bad movie.
The brilliant and devastating comedy of The Office is brought to a
satisfying conclusion in THE OFFICE SPECIAL, set three years after the
end of the faux-documentary’s second season.
LIVE AID is the 4-DVD Box Set of the July 13th, 1985, concert event.
Over 10 hours of performances are featured, including sets from David
Bowie, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Sting, The Who, U2, Neil
Young, and many, many more. Royalties will benefit the Band Aid Trust,
which continues to provide direct hunger relief in Africa.
I’m Dan Reynish and I’ll have more on those, and some other releases,
in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!