12 December 2005 | mt0804
Very good film that has been incorrectly advertised as a light-hearted comedy
The DVD cover to this film describes it as "wildly entertaining." I find this characterization "wildly" inappropriate. Although it does have its comedic moments at the beginning (the funeral scenes are reminiscent of "The Big Chill" and the "Chuckles the Clown" episode of "Mary Tyler Moore, the film smoothly evolves into a poignant story of Tom Thompson's(Schwimmer)search for the meaning of his life. He is hindered in part by his inability to get past an unrequited love in high school (played by Paltrow). Schwimmers's body language is so in tune to the emptiness of his character. His journey reminds me, once again of another film - Benjamin Braddock in "The Graduate. Tom has three friends who give the appearance of having figured things out, but demonstrate their own frailties before the film is done. Barbara Hershey, in the role of the mother of the deceased, initially earns no sympathy, but by end of the film, there is more understanding, of if not empathy her character. (By the way, I mean no criticism in comparing this film or its characters to other film.)
Don't see this film if you're looking for a light-hearted comedy. It's not "Friends" or "Shallow Hall." It's a thoughtful film with an especially sweet performance by David Schwimmer.