11 April 2003 | Silverzero
Pleasing concoction of light drama and lively romance with terrific leading performances.
Usually films about recovery after tragedy are very heavy-handed and sometimes slightly manipulative (Ordinary People etc.). But `The Accidental Tourist' manages to simultaneously be humane to this subject manner and take a more entertaining light approach to it. The script moves along at a slow pace, but it is consistent in its timing.
A drama without good acting is nothing, and that'' where `The Accidental Tourist' really capitalises. William Hurt was a great choice as the depressed downbeat man, recently divorced and still feeling the repercussions of his son's death. Kathleen Turner appears at the start of the movie only to hastily disappear and then make a mark halfway through. Even though she could have done with bit more screen-time, she is also brilliant as the equally depressed ex-wife.
But Geena Davis really takes advantage of each moment and lights up every scene she's in. She's perfectly cast as the kitschy, free-spirited dog trainer and was well deserving of her `Best Supporting Actress' Oscar win. There's some genuine support from the supporting players including Bill Pullman, Amy Wright and David Ogden Stiers. But they don't receive much limelight, nor do they demand it.
At the halfway mark the movie turns into more of a muchly familiar dilemma, of choosing between two women. Either moving on with your life or hanging onto memories while you still can. This has been used many times before but it is handled very well here.
With terrific performances, a compelling script and a good narrative, `The Accidental Tourist' hits a bullseye in all categories. It engages the audience in it gentle yet charming manner. 7.5/10.