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  • Mort-313 August 2001
    Usually, romantic comedies are all the same, concerning their tone and their dialogue. „Green Card` by the great director Peter Weir („Truman Show`, „Witness`!), is a little different, which alone makes it sympathetic.

    The film evokes interest right at the beginning because if people don't know exactly what it is all about, they might not get immediately what's happening. Brontë is already married to Georges the French composer. Other directors or screenwriters would have shown their wedding in detail, peppered with gags. But Weir sees that this is not necessary, it would only follow the convention.

    Later we have unexpected plot twists and changes in the characters that are not always convincing but give the film an interesting, not too light base tone. And actually, Peter Weir is a too enthusiastic director to make a visually rather undemanding romance film. So he introduces some wonderful visual ideas like the scene where Georges is standing in front of Brontë's door, covered with a blanket, calling her name, while the camera shoots him from inside, through the „watcher`. I'm not particularly fond of Andie MacDowell because she always seems even more nervous than my English teacher, always presenting herself with a pained smile. In „Green Card` of course, the fact that she is not at all likeable (to me at least) fits perfectly, and one little wonder of the movie is that Gérard Depardieu can convincingly play that he is falling in love with her.

    A comedy surprise.
  • For those looking for an offbeat, uplifting romantic comedy, this one fits the bill. Andie McDowell plays Bronte; she is a young city gardener who has her eye on a beautiful apartment with a greenhouse. The problem is she must be married in order to apply for it. Enter Gerard Depardieu. He plays an immigrant Frenchman looking to marry an American so he will have permanent residency status in the United States. A mutual friend arranges a paper marriage between the two. Bronte gets her apartment; Depardieu has what he wants, also. Unfortunately, the INS suspects it is a bogus marriage and the two have to "temporarily" move in together in order to prove their marriage is real. From the start, Bronte and her immigrant husband dislike each other. Yet, strange things can happen. This is a sweet story with plenty of laughs sprinkled throughout. McDowell looks stunning and Depardieu, despite carrying a lot of extra weight, charms and delights. Nice little touches, such as the scenes where the couple take fake photographs of their honeymoon, are prevalent. Take a chance on Green Card; it's guaranteed to give the viewer permanent smiling status.
  • A movie isn't never as much great as it can speak personally. This movie does it for me and I'm lucky. This review is thus very subjective but it comes from the heart....

    First, it is a rare movie in which I feel my favorite town, New York as my neighborhood. The town really appears as an endless collection of big cubic buildings, but under the soft menace of the green invasion (trees, garden,...). All the roof scenes are memorable...

    Then, McDowell plays an almost introvert woman in contrast to the French extraversion of Depardieu. Sure, being French, I support our national icon, who is particularly in his turf here, but I was more over captivated by the development of the Bronte character and her feelings. From her initial motivation, then indifference to exasperation and finally complicity & deep devotion, it was a remarkable evolution to behold and understand.

    Finally, there's also a lot of subtext & subtlety here and it's great for the brain: I mean some things talks to our unconscious and the connection isn't immediate. For example, think how Africa is the main background: the emigration subject, the Afrika bar, the drums, the safari life ... There's also the sweet translation from Green Card to Green House, and the role of ecology... Like I already said, the green tries to grow in every free space left from the rock buildings, which is a poetic metaphor for the emigration...

    So, a great romantic story in a wonderful setting & which leaves many doors to open...
  • Green Card is a good movie. Worth watching. The first time I saw it I wasn't impressed, but then watching it again I found it realistic and refreshingly charming, in that "simple/against the tide" sort of way that is so Peter Weir. He's also done The Witness, Dead Poets Society, and The Truman Show; and Green Card, most certainly, is another of his films about people who don't quite fit in their environment or in the world of their aspirations but are drawn into finding life where probably they were not looking for. The scene about finding the bathroom is both hilarious and very suspenseful. It's funny how in a house, or even in a small apartment, we're never quite sure where the bathroom is. Our first instinct is to ask, even though it probably wouldn't be a difficult move to find that on our own. Now imagine having to deal with that bathroom situation (something you only care about when you need it) pretending that the place where you're in is your house. It's almost like in those nightmares where there are so many doors but which one is the one that will take you to that next level you so much need but have not the slightest idea of what it might really be? I guess the metaphor here is that you keep on opening a chain of wrong doors until you find the right one for you. It's frustrating, but the door was always there, always, with the exception that you never noticed it. Just like in everyday life, love and spirituality might flash into your face as banal sight at first, but they're made of hopes and fears that are always bigger than us, unexplainable, maybe fate. We don't have control of it (the Greeks knew it), we're still the same but again we're not. And here we are, groping, surviving. How do you relate to people and to your present circumstances -- whatever they might be --that is what Green Card is about.
  • Director Peter Weir appears to have been 'Moonstruck' in his latest film, a fizzy romantic comedy about an inconvenient marriage of convenience between uptight, uptown Andie McDowell and rogue Frenchman Gerard Depardieu. When the INS comes knocking at McDowell's door the couple suddenly has just 48 hours to get acquainted and invent a mutual history; predictably, they fall in genuine love as well. It's an amusing, if somewhat one-sided courtship: Depardieu may be a slob, but he's a cultured, passionate slob, and because everyone except McDowell loves him on sight (and since there isn't any competition from her arrogant, politically correct, vegetarian boyfriend) it's only a matter of time before Depardieu charms her down from her ivory tower. Romantic comedy obviously isn't Weir's forte; he supposedly wrote the script with Depardieu in mind, but it's too bad the same can't be said for McDowell's underdeveloped character: an urban fairy tale princess waiting for the frog (no pun intended) to kiss her. The film nevertheless shows the same economy of style that highlights all of Weir's features, and it benefits from the winning presence of Depardieu, whose energy translates well into any language.
  • the_worlok25 November 2002
    This movie is strangely addictive. Gérard Depardieu displays a very noble and charming character who is at the same time a simple and gruff man. He doesn't do the pretentiousness that is so common today. He is unsophisticated yet not uncomplicated. Andie MacDowell plays her part wonderfully. You just want to smack her silly at times, which proves that McDowell is a great actress. She is also one of Hollywood's "Classic" beauties. She is a pleasure to watch not only for her first rate acting but also because she is such a handsome woman.

    My wife hooked me on this movie. I am a typical American man, who is usuually into action and SciFi movies. I usually run screaming from romantic movies. The fact that this is a Romantic COMEDY made it fun to watch. Depardieu plays the large "oafish" commoner to a "T". He is a very funny man indeed, as well as a first rate actor in his own right. He is not in enough movies, IMNSHO.

    I wish the studio that owns this would release it on DVD in the US.
  • It is no so often that good films like "Green Card" are made.But when they are made,it is not so easy for dedicated viewers to remove such cinematographic gems from their minds as they captivate us to such an extent that we tend to think of them on all occasions."Green Card" is not only a good film but also a film with serious purpose.It tackles albeit in a non political manner, the need to obtain a green card in order to make a life better.By making,"Green Card" Australian director Peter Weir has created a film which highlights the importance of good things of life such as friends,love and music.Much of this film's strength comes in the form of fine performances by lead actors Gerard Depardieu and Andie MacDowell.They look like a real life couple madly in love with each other.As Gerard Depardieu is at the top of his acting abilities it can be said that no one would mind his accented English.A film with an obvious title "Green Card" might be perceived as a movie with a lot of drama but the cinematographic genius of Peter Weir is revealed in the form of his decision to relegate drama to back seat.This is the reason why he has shown credulous romance to make us all believe in the power of love in our lives.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film was a sensual master piece with a ending that leaves you spell bound and mystified as to the fact when will they meet again and embrace the reality of the love that transformed from a relationship that was never to be. I especially loved the garden it was so magnificent and to even imagine that such beauty could exist in a city of concrete and pavement. Bronte has such passion for this magnificent garden that she is willing to forgo all obstacles in such blindness that she does not even see the beauty with in the beast of her new husband until it is too late to really let him know how much she cares for him. in the end you can feel the pain that both lovers have as they no longer have the ability to be together in the garden of eden as with Adam and eve where Adam and eve were cast out of the garden Bronte was left with the garden all alone.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Green Card was made at the time Peter Weir had been making an attempt to break into the Hollywood mainstream. In his native Australia, Weir made some offbeat but effective horror/fantasy films, in particular the beautiful, atmospheric and very eerie Picnic at Hanging Rock. After the move to America, Weir's output has become somewhat sporadic, but his films are never less than interesting and have a refreshing intelligence among the predictability's of US fodder.

    Green Card was Weir's first film after having huge success the year before with the excellent Dead Poets Society. And while perhaps a little more straightforward than what he usually goes in for, Green Card is a superior rom-com that mostly avoids the clichés that come with the genre.

    Green Card has a plot that could easily be built out into a US sitcom. An American woman marries a Frenchman so he can get his green card. And she can get the apartment of her dreams, which is available only to married couples. When Immigration start snooping around, they have to put on the pretence of being married, and that includes friends and family. Naturally they're different in every way. She's a prissy, prim and pretentious snob. He's a crude, rude, and lewd slob. But they're falling in love anyway.

    Its a credit to Peter Weir's skills as a storyteller that he can make such a contrived scenario fly. But he does. Obviously a personal project for Weir, he wrote, produced and directed it. Which means his unique vision is stamped upon every aspect of the film. In the hands of a more pedestrian writer/director, Green Card would have you running for the nearest exit, but Weir's confident, assured direction hits a lot of the right notes.

    There's a common theme that runs through much of Peter Weir's films. An outsider in a foreign land. In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey was a real man surrounded by a fictitious world. In Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams was a free-thinking teacher at a conservative prep school. And in Green Card, Gerard Depardieu is a foreigner in America.

    I think Peter Weir shares a special kinship with Depardieu's character, Georges. They're both foreign men trying to work in an alien land. Weir's script refreshingly avoids all the usual clichés. It never has Georges as a bumbling, blithering idiot bound by the language barrier, as other filmmakers would have been tempted to do just to get easy laughs. Green Card attains much of its mileage from Georges quiet awe of his adopted country, and his slow discovery of the woman he married out of convenience.

    In his first English speaking role, Gerard Depardieu does very well. In fact he does much better than he has in any of his subsequent film roles. He never overplays his hand, or makes Georges too broad as a character. His acting almost verges on minimalism, but he gets across to the audience without ever sacrificing his realism.

    Andie MacDowell spends all her time now promoting Loreal, but Green Card shows there was a time when she actually did concentrate on an acting career. I've never been much of a fan of Andie MacDowell. Although radiant, she often seems rather remote as an actress. Like she prefers to keep the people she works with at a distance. Despite the occasional gem like Groundhog Day, MacDowell hardly ever impresses as an actress.

    In the case of Green Card, Peter Weir has made the wise choice of creating a character for her she's suited too. Bronte is supposed to be an aloof, distant society gal, and its something that fits Andie MacDowell's temperament perfectly. Her quiet exasperation with Georges' lifestyle is very amusing, and even if her timing is slightly off, most of the lines Weir gives her are usually on the nose.

    Green Card is one of the few films where we have the rare pleasure of seeing the extremely underrated Bebe Neuwirth in a major role. And she doesn't disappoint as Bronte's spontaneous, larger than life friend Lauren. Bebe Neuwirth always has tremendous charisma, and never fails to dominate the screen. Best known for playing humourless ice maiden Lilith Sternin in Cheers and Frasier, Neuwirth is one of Hollywood's unsung actresses.

    Lauren's observations over Georges and Bronte's 'relationship' are hilarious. Neuwirth has an uncanny ability to be eye-wateringly funny and then turn serious at a moment's notice. In fact one suspects she would have made a much better Bronte than MacDowell does. Bebe Neuwirth is by far the better actress, and its sad she's not in the film more often. She lights up the screen whenever she's around. Love the look on her face after she hears Georges' piano concerto at a plush dinner party! Worth the price of admission alone!

    Peter Weir's films are often lush and attractive to look at and Green Card is no exception. We get to see some beautiful photography in Bronte's greenhouse. Lush greens and relaxing streams. Beautiful sunsets highlighted by the Manhattan skyline. Accompanied to a wonderful whimsical film score by Hans Zimmer, with haunting vocals from an uncredited Enya.

    As things draw to a close, Green Card becomes quite intense. We know that Georges and Bronte are getting closer, but the Immigration interview hangs over them both. They desperately need to get their stories straight if they ever hope to get through this. And much as he did in Dead Poets Society, Peter Weir shocks one and all by ending things on a real downer. They don't succeed. And Georges is deported back to France, just as they've admitted their love for each other.

    Green Card may not be one of Peter Weir's classic films, but its a refreshing antidote to Hollywood's sugary sweet romantic comedy genre. It has an intelligent stride that is very fulfilling, and an ending that will leave you depressed for days afterwards.
  • I'm normally not too much a fan of Gérard Depardieu, at least not when he plays a role in a movie that isn't French. But this time I was willing to make an exception and the main reason for that is because I was interested in the subject of fake marriages in order to be able to stay in the country permanently. It's a problem that is all too known known over here as well and I couldn't think of any other romantic movie that dared to use this subject. That's why I was curious about it.

    George Fauré is a French citizen who has been offered a job in the U.S.A., but before he can start working, he'll need a work permit. Since it's very difficult for him to get one, the easiest way is to marry an American woman. Brontë Parrish loves plants and has dedicated her entire life to them. Now she has found a wonderful flat with its own greenhouse, but there is one problem: the flat is for married couples only. The best solution for both is a marriage, but to convince the immigration officers that they are married for love and not out of convenience, they must move in with each other and try to cope with all the difficulties that this will bring...

    It wouldn't have been a romantic comedy / drama if there weren't the necessary complications between the two people, so in that perspective this certainly isn't an original movie. But there is one difference: normally this kind of movies never shows a marriage of convenience, as it is something that doesn't belong in the perfect image of love and happiness that this kind of movies wants to portray. Fact is that it is a 'daring' move - although only to a certain extend - that really works. I really didn't have any problem to believe that in reality Brontë and Georges would never marry because their worlds are too far apart. And I admit that I was still a bit surprised when seeing the end of the movie. Of course their ideas about each other change, this is still a romantic movie, but it was all done in a very decent way.

    Overall the acting in this movie is quite good. Despite the fact that I had my doubts about him before watching the movie I must admit that I even liked Depardieu, probably because he didn't have to conceal his awful French accent when speaking English. He more or less could be himself this time and that's good. Also nice was Andie MacDowell's performance and I loved Jessie Keosian as the noisy landlady.

    All in all this is an interesting romantic drama - I wouldn't really call it a comedy - that offers a good story and some nice acting. It's perhaps not the best in the genre, but it's certainly better than average. That's why I give this movie a 7/10.
  • This is a great date movie. I love it how they fall in love, despite they're difference. I also love it how she loves him for him, and not this built up romantic image that many American woman have about French men. (This is quite evident throughout the movie) Obviously the movie is just like the tag line, but how they get their, is a wonderful story within itself. I recommend this for anyone who wants to see a great date movie, and who doesn't mind a movie set in the 80s.
  • A romantic comedy-drama really, with far fewer laughs and much more sentiment than typical for the genre, though seemingly based on the favourite romcom premise that two people thrown into a position of intimacy for an extended period will inevitably fall into a touching and romantic love no matter how incompatible they at first appear. Depardieu comes across very well, though really doesn't need to try very hard to pull off the fairly stereotypical 'big french feller' he plays here, and MacDowell is her usual droney-voiced, moody-faced self, there to look pretty but prim rather than inspire any great feeling. The story ambles along nicely, taking in most of the standard licks of the genre ? impressing the friends, the family, high jinks with the neighbours, bad behaviour and heroism, shouting and laughing together to illustrate how love can emerge from conflict. Not hugely funny or romantic, but very nice to see that a romantic leading man could still smoke, drink and eat lots of butter in health-obsessed Hollywood back in 1990.
  • gbheron30 December 1998
    This movie surprised us. As Wife loves and demands a steady stream of romantic comedies; movie viewing is often accompanied by snoring, or disinterested chatter by other family members (college girl and high school boy, and Father). Not this time. Green Card was quirky, witty, and off-balance. It didn't flow like most of the genre. As the movie started you knew that Gerard and Andie would get together, but as the movie progressed you just weren't so sure. It lacked the sappiness of a Pretty Woman, and the cutesiness of a Sleepless. The Andie and Gerard characters were far from perfect, and it had an unpredictability that kept you guessing through the movie.

    Amazingly the teens and Father enjoyed it more than wife and we gave it an 8.
  • goya-46 October 2000
    Gerard Depardieu and Andie McDowell meet and for mutually beneficial reasons end up getting married..he so he can stay in the country and she so she can get the rent controlled Manhatten apartment..alas they must convince the INS that their marriage is true so they get to know each other, grudgingly of course at first..until love intervenes. A charming movie that features a good matchup with McDowell and Depardieu..good date film too. on a scale of one to ten..7
  • Warning: Spoilers
    My daughter gave me the DVD for Christmas. I already had it on VHS. One question; Why does Andie McDowell look pregnant in some scenes and not in others.

    It is my favorite movie. Between the greenhouse, which is think I might too have to marry in order to get it myself if I were in her position, to Gerard's strange sexiness, to the African music, and the final scene with the exchange of rings, it cannot be beat!! Favorite lines include, "I am the husband, so yes I #@+* her", "She likes to eat birdseed", "She has peace, I do not have peace", and of course, . . "And always I will say, When are you coming Cherie?" Keep your eye on the prize!! Maybe we all should.
  • What's so great about this movie? Most people dismiss Green Card as just another "romantic chick-flick comedy", but it's FAR more than that. While not a "message movie", it's actually a light commentary on the institution of marriage, and what makes it work.

    It starts with a premise that everyone can recognize: two people who can barely stand each other must put aside their differences for a greater good. The actual wedding (and its attendant emotions) is carefully avoided, only to drop us into the lives of our protagonists as they are suddenly forced to make their marriage of convenience appear real. Only when they do the hard work to make it real, does it actually become real: the emotions experienced are the result of the commitment, not the motivation for the commitment. In other words, if "luck is the residue of design", then love is the residue of commitment.

    This is not to imply that the movie is perfect, but it does hold up very well after all these years. Yes, the clothes are very much of their time and there are a few "groanable moments", but for the most part I see no reason why people not born when the movie was written and filmed shouldn't be able to relate to the story and understand what the producers were "getting at".

    With beautiful scenery and an outstanding cast, this movie was also very nearly prophetic in anticipating all the "singles in the city" movies and TV shows of the 1990s (of which Friends is the most famous example). Which is not to say that Green Card was the only movie of its time with those qualities, but merely IMHO the most exemplary. Would there be a Hallmark Channel today without movies like Green Card?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    From what I've seen of Peter Weir's movies, he often likes to focus on cultures and historical events. "Picnic at Hanging Rock", "The Last Wave", "Gallipoli", "The Year of Living Dangerously" and "Witness" are examples. The rom-com "Green Card" is an unusual movie for him. It's an enjoyable movie. My favorite scene is when Georges attends the party with Bronte and has an awkward experience with the piano.

    There's nothing special about the plot, but it's an OK movie. As to the issue of immigration, I guess that it should remind everyone that immigrants are what built this country.
  • Sappy and trite -- But somehow it seems refreshing compared to other romantic movies..... The Enya music is very nice to hear in the backround!!!The chemistry just works between Ande and Gerard. Not unlike a good book I never get tired of seeing this film again and again.
  • jonmeta30 November 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    A marriage of convenience to New York environmental activist Brontë (Andie MacDowell) gets French waiter Georges (Gérard Depardieu) a green card to work in America. Brontë gets a sort of "green card" too, in the form of permission to rent an apartment with a rooftop greenhouse. In fact, the colour green is in almost every scene: an emerald green lamp, a nicely placed green wine bottle in several shots, Brontë's clothes, and of course, plants, which appear in pretty much every interior shot –the apartment, a friend's house, restaurants. The exception is Brontë's bedroom (where she's always alone), which is desert colours. This is a very interior movie, and I love how Weir focuses on little details –feet coming down the stairs, the peephole in the front door, water dripping from leaves in the greenhouse –to make the closed spaces interesting.

    The first time we see Georges and Brontë together, they are saying goodbye on the steps of the courthouse after tying the knot. Suspicion from Immigration agents forces the pair to try proving they have a real marriage. They quickly find that they can't stand each other. But the circumstances force them to spend time learning the details of each other's radically different lives, and then repeat them to the Immigration officials in tones of love and admiration, in order to sound like they are mad for each other. Eventually it has an unexpected effect. The point is that acting and speaking like you love someone can actually bring about what it pretends. I think that's true, even though it goes against conventional ideas of being "genuine", which can simply be an excuse for rudeness.

    This serious theme is mixed with several situations drawn from the comedy of errors handbook. Green Card has one of the funniest scenes of all time, in my opinion, in which Georges must find a way to convince a room full of New York society people that he's an accomplished musical composer. The laughter is generated by the kind of tension between straight-lacedness and mayhem of a Marx Brothers routine. Bebe Neuwirth as Brontë's friend Lauren is wonderful, nothing remotely like her Lilith character in Cheers, and her reaction to Georges in the musical episode makes the scene even more hilarious.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is in response to RCarstairs...I cried too and without a personal loss. (Glad you're OK now) But I think this movie more than any other I've seen captures falling in love. Gerard sees it coming, but Andy doesn't. That last scene, when they spy each other through the cafe window, and then rush to embrace is her first realization that she loves him. In fact, I think that the viewer is also lulled into thinking this is just a silly little story until that scene. I know I was. So the effect was amazing, for me. I sat there stunned, and (how corny) my heart opened! And the tears. I wandered around for an hour or so after the movie, sort of disoriented. Peter Weir is a genius!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Last week I finally watched GC. I have been expecting to watch GC because I know Andie McDowell in it. She has unspeakable charming for me. I remember that I was attracted deeply by her when I first watched Four weddings and one funeral.

    I think that she is different from American sweet heart Meg Ryan (my favorite actress too). Meg is cute girl next door. But her recent film In the cut is totally failure. Among her movies When Harry met Sally is my most favorite. Comparing with her, Andie is more mature. Her show in Groundhog Day brought me much pleasure. This time GC is better. Of cause Gerard Depardieu should not be neglected. He is sure to be one of the best French actors.

    The most unforgettable scene is Gerard spoke lively poem in French while playing piano in order to win green plant for Andie. No doubt it is the most touching moment in the film.

    The good ending is welcome and heart-warming. Andie and Gerard duet is more impressive than the other two duets (Andie and Hugh grant, Andie and Bill Murray). Really hope they can cooperate again. Maybe GC2. 9/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Gerard Depardieu plays a shockingly enormous Frenchman who must marry Andy McDowell to stay in the United States. ***HUGE SPOILER WARNING*** At first, they hate each other because she's a nice person who plants things and he's French. But then...***LAST SPOILER WARNING!! JUMP SHIP NOW IF YOU DON"T WANT THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE SOILED!!!***...they end up falling in love. I cried like a baby at this film...although I'm sure it didn't hurt that my fiance died the day I saw it. Don't worry, I'll be okay. It was a long time ago. A very good movie. 91 stars.
  • The concept of two people forced to live out their sham marriage to avoid the repercussions of their fraud being exposed and then developing a real relationship could have been the basis of a great movie. It could have provided an insight into the plight of the undocumented immigrant in the United States through the eyes of the person who initially helped them for the wrong reasons. I have seen this story actually play out in real life to some extent. It seems ripe for someone like Ava DuVernay to really do it justice by skillfully weaving together themes of suffering, social injustice, and love in a way that forces you to take it home and ponder it for a week or more. But this film stripped that concept of all that was interesting, first by making sure that the immigrant wasn't from a " country," as Donald Trump would put it. Even worse, the character was dismissive of the supposedly rough neighborhood that he came from, saying that people should just forget about trying to improve those neighborhoods, because they would never change (and he's never seriously challenged on that statement or his attitude). The irony of the fierce liberal who still runs in enough wealthy social circles to feel pressure to enter a sham marriage so that she could get the perfect apartment is acknowledged, but more in a light-hearted comedic way than anything meaningful. Also, the relationship between the 2 main characters wasn't developed well; it wasn't very convincing. And the ending was pretty unrealistic.
  • Green Card is one of my favorite movies ever. Yes, everyone knows I'm a sucker for a good script, a beautiful girl, and a hunky guy, but this movie is so much more than that. It's a story of the American Dream, a testament to opposites attracting, and a thoughtful argument about law and order. It can spark a political debate, give even the most cynical spinster hope for love, and make an unsuspecting fan of the romantic comedy genre. Peter Weir's script-loosely based on 1989's The Paper Wedding, but oddly enough nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the Academy Awards-will make you laugh and reach for a Kleenex. He wrote it as an American debut for French superstar Gérard Depardieu, who at that time had a Best Actor César award and nine additional nominations, a Venice Film Festival award for Best Actor, and BAFTA nomination under his belt.

    What a debut! He's so charming, so magnetic, so sensitive, it's impossible to dislike him. Weir's screenplay allowed for a mixture of French and English so Gérard could focus on his talent rather than a language barrier, and the result is pure magic. He plays a character similar to his real-life persona: someone incredibly generous and loving, trying to start a new chapter of his life in America, and far more sensitive than people suspect. So, when you're falling in love with his on-screen portrayal, it's safe to say you're also falling in love with him as a person. It's no wonder he's one of my favorite celebrity boyfriends.

    On to the story, although with all that praise, you're probably anxious to rent a copy already, right? Andie MacDowell is a horticulturalist, and she wants to take up the lease of a beautiful apartment in New York with a neglected greenhouse. The apartment complex is only interested in renting to a married couple. Gérard Depardieu is a Frenchman looking to stay in America without applying for citizenship. Through a mutual friend, Andie and Gérard marry then part ways to pursue their own dreams. When immigration comes calling, they have to scramble around to pretend they're really married. Don't worry if you have a strong opposition to marriages of conveniences. As Andie's lawyer, Robert Prosky has a great line: "It's called breaking the law. Now, no matter how trivial it may have seemed to you at the time, that's what you've done." This is not a one-sided movie; it doesn't bombard you with a point of view it thinks you should have.

    Every detail is important, ensuring that you'll get more out of the movie every time you watch it, which is one of the greatest signs of a good movie. In the kitchen, there's a brief close-up of Gérard fiddling with a garlic bulb. His fingers try to pry a clove out gently, nervously, and when his initial attempt doesn't work, he resorts to what he knows works for him and presses the heel of his hand forcefully against the bulb. One of the immigration agents, Ethan Phillips, asks an innocuous question, "May I use your bathroom?" because he knows it will make or break the interview. When Andie puts on her wedding ring before the interview, she struggles, to show she hasn't worn it in a long time.

    From the get-go, Andie and Gérard have beautiful on-screen chemistry, even when their characters haven't figured it out yet. She's structured, he's spontaneous; she likes Muesli and decaffeinated coffee, he likes traditional French cooking; she's uptight, he's laid-back. When they pull together, the audience can see they bring out the best in each other, which is more than most opposites-attract romances do. When obstacles appear, whether small as in a flirty friend, Bebe Neuwirth, medium as in Andie's parents showing up at her apartment unexpectedly, or large as in the immigration issue, the script takes the audience through each hurdle smoothly, showing that this couple is so solidly matched, they can handle anything. They may have different reasons for doing what they're doing, but as Andie's dad, Conrad McLaren, summarizes, "We suddenly found ourselves in the same boat."

    You've got to watch this movie. Whether it's because you love Andie MacDowell, you're anxious to hear Gérard speak English, or you're an awards groupie and want to see why it won Golden Globe awards for Best Picture and Best Actor in the comedic genres, you've got to watch it. Do yourself a favor and buy a DVD copy so you can watch it over and over again like I do. Every time I watch it, I'm instantly put in a better mood. It just doesn't get any better than Andie handing Gérard a hammer and saying, "Okay, do some handyman things!" It just doesn't get any better than Gérard saying more with one eyebrow raise than most actors say in an entire monologue. It just doesn't get any better than Green Card.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this in the theatre in 1990, and a few times on TV, but last night I caught it again on late night TV for the first time in years. 25 years, but I had the same reaction to it, LOL.

    This is a perfectly terrible, unfunny movie with a script that would be lame on a 30 minute sitcom. It was made solely as a vehicle to introduce Gerard Depardieu to American audiences, and as such was a failure. It also showcased the lovely Andy McDowell, but rather unfairly -- she's either pregnant or post-pregnant here, and although radiantly beautiful, she is hulking around in huge, baggy jumpers and tops. Considering Depardieu is a heavy set man, the combination isn't romantic at all. It's like a "before" ad for Weight Watchers.

    I'm not saying a comedy about two heavy set people can't be done -- of course, it could be and delightful, with lots of avenues for humor. But that's not how this framed AT ALL. Their weights are not alluded to, except briefly when George (Depardieu) wrongly guesses Brontë's weight as 140 lbs (she says "125 lbs"...well, maybe when not preggers).

    I think this pretty much restricted the script to "no nude scenes".

    And oy, the plot: unrealistic and leaden. Not only does immigration law in the US work NOTHING like this (is it possible the all-Aussie crew had no idea?), we are talking about a pretty serious crime. It's not "cute" to defraud the INS. George has no reason to do all this. He could have applied for a work visa, and waited it out. Also, come on -- he's what? 45 or older? What has he been doing all this time? Frankly, though the script was apparently WRITTEN for him, Depardieu is entirely WRONG for it -- and unfunny -- every scene is just painful. George needs to be an eager YOUNG guy, maybe 25 or 30 with some real goal -- something he would NEED to be in America to accomplish.

    OK, so why 7 stars? Honestly, I remember this movie well for one reason -- it is shot in the loveliest, most charming apartment I have ever seen. It is truly the apartment of my dreams. I've never forgotten it, and 25 years after, I could have described it down to the last detail. I suspect it is only a movie set, but OMG, what a set. (The building itself is real.) Never mind it would have cost a fortune, even in 1989, and never mind it is probably a CO OP (meaning you buy in, and not rent it, and we are talking MILLIONS of dollars). I don't care. It's a dream and a wonderful one -- oh that greenhouse...the koi pond...the fountain.

    This was the beginning of the shabby chic style, and it was never showcased better than here. Kudos to the set designer. I want to live here. I just don't want to live with fat annoying George, or dull matronly Brontë.

    Consider watching this with the sound turned off.
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