31 August 2002 | Wendy-17
Steamy romance and an interesting thriller...
I've seen various comments from those who say "The Big Easy" is one huge stereotype and/or unrealistic. Well, sure, the stereotypes exist here, but I feel that the directing of Jim McBride and excellent acting and chemistry of Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin rose above it.
As for its being unrealistic...so is almost every movie ever made!
Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin had phenomenal chemistry as Remy McSwain and Anne Osborne. Their first love scene was, by turns, steamy, tender, and touched with a sense of not taking itself too, too seriously as some love scenes tend to do. Out of the bedroom, they prove to be just as interesting as in (Remy's "gray" concept of right and wrong definitely adds to such interest, as does his "crisis of conscience" later on), and that is truly, IMHO, a rare feat for a lot of such films.
Add in a great supporting cast (Ned Beatty's crooked, yet fatherly Jack Kellom, John Goodman's dirty cop André, Grace Zabriskie as Mrs. McSwain, Lisa Jane Persky as Det. McCabe, and many more) that actually lends more depth to what could have been a cut-and-dried shoot 'em up flick (mixed with some bed scenes for variety), as well as characters/actors who actually play off of each other well, and the film is very entertaining.
Sure, the whole "gumbo, let's party, Cajun fest" thing can be a bit much, but I still found this film a whole bunch better than a lot of films made in the same or similar vein. It also still seems remarkably fresh today, 15 years later (even if typing police reports via a typewriter now seems a bit passé).
In other words and in short, I am glad to own this on DVD and have it in my library.