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  • I saw this last spring ('02) when I rented it from Blockbuster and really thought it a good film. It's a film from Showtime television so it just goes to show how much better pay TV is than basic. Sally & Judy (both nominees at the Emmys and Screen Actors Guild awards for best actress in a TV movie or a miniseries) turn in the best performances as Iris Prue (Field) and Paula Tanner (Davis), two women who you'd think would be the most unlikely pair of girlfriends. Iris is a middle-aged woman who ends up broke after filing for divorce and gets burned after a failed relationship with a man she's too good for and takes a position as housekeeper for Paula at her vacation house in up-state New York. Paula's a frigid, short-fused, frustrated-with-herself socialite who's going through a marriage that's heading down hill... FAST!!! and has a rebellious pre-20s daughter, Beth, who's heading for heartbreak and serious self-destruction. Iris and Beth at first are at odds but then become good friends. Meanwhile, Iris meets and falls in love with Jack (Winston Rekert), the first real man she's met in her life, possibly and things go well until she and Paula come to terms with their relationship. This was a very good film (8/10) that may just become one of those "women films" (I HATE that stereotype) that even us guys will end up liking. I want my mom and grandma to see it, too.
  • When I cut on Lifetime, I said, "Oh, well, just a Sally Field movie on." However, as I became involved in the movie, I realized that the story was captivating--as was Sally Field. She remains very attractive, and she can stimulate a range of emotions in viewers.

    The movie was not predictable, because there were several times I thought I knew the next step--but each time I was wrong. So the film moved well past soap opera status.

    My only criticism: Her professional advancement seemed a bit too rapid. Other than that, I rate the story very highly, and rank her acting A plus.
  • This movie is awesome. A Divorcée meeting a new love, trying to overcome the mistakes of her past. She is spawning new friendships in a new town, One turning point was when she decided to go to the reading night at the book store. A pompous, starchy, rich bitch who forms a lasting bond of friendship with her house keeper. A couple of reverse rolls--what more could you ask for. A real tear jerker at times. Sally Field has always been one of my favorite actresses and continues to be after seeing this movie. Some of the actors/actresses portrayed, I had never seen before--but I will look for them in the future--in more movies.
  • I hadn't intended to watch it, but from the beginning I was engrossed. It moved along at a rapid pace with no long gaps in action. I found the characters to be well defined and enchanting. I highly recommend viewing this movie.
  • I've read all the reviews of this film and wonder at some of them. I wonder why people think women's films are somehow exclusive to women, that men would not understand them. I wonder why others think a chick flick is somehow inferior to so called male films.

    Women's films represent the most critical event in human relationships. We need to understand dreams, broken dreams, promises, broken promises, aspirations, reduced aspirations, truth between people, lies we tell, moral paths followed, moral paths abandoned, elation, depression, acceptance, rejection, power and pain. That's quite a list to get into about 90 minutes.

    This film centers around 2 women who have endured a prickly relationship. Iris (Sally Field) divorced her husband after 26 years of marriage because she was bored with him and had an affair. The film makes clear that she made a mistake in not accepting 1/2 his net worth and alimony. Because she was "stupid", she took job housekeeping for a woman (Paula -- Judy Davis) who was brittle, unfeeling, arrogant, bossy and hopelessly unsympathetic to what Field might be going through (which included debt that would make most of us think of bankruptcy). Iris will endure almost anything except intrusion into her life.

    That is the beginning of her introduction to the problems of humanity. Field cares enough about her to become angry and correct her (Paula). The film gently shifts as Iris declares her own needs. Iris begins to distance herself from Paula by developing outside interests, and in so doing strengthens herself to deal with Paula's collapse when her husband leaves her.

    Paula must at last face herself, and what she sees is devastatingly destructive in its thoroughness. Her pain consumes her. Iris treats her with compassion, though Paula does not think so. She forces by constant nagging to get Paula out and their friendship such as it is, develops through anger to a deep honesty.

    In the end, this film is about failure, about betrayed trust, about ignoring the reality of current circumstances, about getting up off the floor and breathing in and breathing out (as Tom Hanks said), about making the best of what is near us. It does not take divorce and pain to reach that conclusion. It takes only recognition of our own humanity.
  • Somewhere in-between dreary network made for TV movies and sappy chick flicks on the big screen lies "A Cooler Climate". I walked away from this movie and said, "Well it wasn't painful." Decent acting, decent script, decent story. No big surprises, no big disappointments. Overall a perfectly average movie. Which is fine, because this movie touched on basic human relationships and chronicled how two women started an important friendship that helped both of them put back together their lives. I gave it a seven out of ten just on the basis that nothing about "A Cooler Climate" annoyed me like dreary network made for TV movies or sappy big screen chick flicks. We all need a little forced sentiment in our lives and this was better than most.
  • This movie was produced by women, for women, about women. It was made for Showtime and is clearly targeted at women in the 35+ age category. It is a good character study of two women and their stormy relationship as employer and housekeeper. Iris Prue (Sally Field) is starting a new life. She divorced her husband and abandoned her comfortable life to seek love and fulfillment with her paramour. Unfortunately, after she gave up everything, her new love didn't work out. She seeks employment as a live-in housekeeper, and she is hired by Paula Tanner (Judy Davis). Paula is an angry, rude and oppressive woman, who goes through housekeepers faster than she goes through laundry. Iris is desperate to keep this job because she has nowhere else to go, and dutifully endures Paula's condescending abuse.

    Paula alienates everyone, so it is no surprise that both her daughter and husband can't stand her. Ultimately, her life unravels as her daughter runs away and her husband leaves her. Iris, whom she has completely alienated, is the only person to whom she can turn for support. The rest of the story revolves around their tempestuous relationship and eventual transformation.

    Director Susan Seidelman (TV's `Sex in the City') keeps the story interesting, deftly avoiding bogging down, as is often the case in such character studies. Certain parts are very raw and real, capturing feelings only a woman would understand. She is especially sensitive in portraying the difficulties between mothers and daughters. However, though meticulous at capturing the deep emotions resulting from the characters' conflict, Seidelman rushes through the resolution to the point where Paula turns into a completely different person in the span of 10 minutes of screen time.

    The acting was superb. Sally Field gives a wonderful performance as the flawed and self-doubting Iris, who is determined to keep her life from disintegrating despite her foolish mistakes. Field captures the complexities of Iris' character, a woman both desperate and proud. As good as Field is, Judy Davis is even better. She is arrogant, insolent and mean, but shows subtle signs that it is all to compensate for her deep-seated insecurity. Her portrayal of Paula's depression and angry blaming of others for her own shortcomings is brilliantly done.

    I rated this film a 7/10. I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed by how Seidelman ties up the ending in such a neat little package, ultimately producing characters that bear no resemblance to the imperfect people that we spent so much time getting to know. I believe that relationships can be transforming, but this requires an absurd leap of faith.

    Women should see this movie with a female friend. It is probably destined for a long run on the Lifetime Channel. Most men won't get it, and they will probably need at least three bathroom breaks while blithely suggesting you keep the recorder running in their absence. Save this one for girls' night out.
  • Too small for a movie movie but perfect for a TV movie. The emotions were real and unexpected. I ended up really caring for the main characters and empathizing with them. On a day when I saw Lord of the Rings in the movies and was impressed but unmoved, I was glad to come home to a film that was truly moving.
  • This was a made for cable Showtime Movie starring Judy Davis and Sally Field. Set in Maine, the film was really shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    Story of a divorced woman coming to terms with her new life, connecting with her employer (Judy Davis) who appears to be headed for a divorce as well.

    It was good to see Sally in a starring role again, and even after all these years, she still looks good in a swimsuit (even if it was too cold to swim in the movie...). Not a bad way to spend 90 minutes, like visiting or checking up with an old friend who I hope is doing OK... cowabunga Sally!
  • What a treat to see Sally Field and Judy Davis appear together in a film that offered them roles to sink their acting teeth into. However they hold the tired old Formulae together in a film dealing with situations in such a way that we can safetly say, "we've seen it all before". But still worth a view just to catch the grande dames in action. It's a cross between "Murphy's Romance" meets "Men Don't Leave". But I still scored it a 9 because of the acting. Love Sally, love Judy.
  • whpratt124 February 2008
    Always enjoy the acting of Sally Field, (Iris) who plays the role of a woman who is divorced from her husband and he has poisoned the mind of her daughter not to see her or have anything to do with her. Iris seeks employment as a housekeeper in the home of Paula, (Judy Davis) and Paula is always trying to tell Iris just what to do and is rather critical of Iris's behavior which she does not understand. Paula wants Iris to keep an eye on her teenage daughter, Beth, (Carly Pope) who is wild and is rather self destructive and eventually winds up in trouble over in England. There are many twists and turns to this film and eventually Iris and Paula seem to become great friends only because of some tragic circumstances. Sally Field and Judy Davis gave great performances and Beth, Carly Pope gave a great supporting role. Enjoy.
  • Though this film is not unique in it's depiction of a friendship between two women, it is still excellent due to two very very good performances by Sally Field and Judy Davis. A winning film. Make sure to check it out.
  • Cable-made drama adapted from Zena Collier's novel involving a middle-aged divorcée forced to take demeaning position as assistant to a wealthy, cantankerous bore. How soon will it be before the employer and her employee find out they have an awful lot in common? Sally Field manages to elevate this fabricated scenario with her bright presence (and she gets a handsome love-interest in Winston Rekert, who suits her better than any of the big-name stars she's paired up with in her theatrical movies), however Judy Davis (by this point) was starting to fall into a creative rut--she's all too excruciatingly mannered, and for what purpose? Director Susan Seidelman obviously wants to show us the yen and yang of the ladies' combustible relationship, the tug-of-war that eventually softens. Still, when the tide finally turns for put-upon Field, it happens in the most extraordinary way...too extraordinary for seasoned viewers to swallow lightly.
  • "A Cooler Climate" isn't exactly a film of great brilliance. It's adequate in its execution, not really outstanding in any way. Susan Seidelman is clearly interested in the actors, but doesn't offer much regard to the technical aspects. I watched it for Judy Davis and Sally Field (why else would anyone bother, really?), and they're good enough. But it's possibly two of the least challenging performances I've ever seen from them, all shallow and out on the surface. The music by Patrick Williams is pure cheese, derivative of at least a dozen other similar films. The secondary characters are all cartoons, unconvincing and poorly acted.

    This is made-for-TV film at it's least impressive. Normally, it's a low quality I'd never even encounter, but it's the acting talent involved that makes it so disappointing. Never mind with this one.
  • This is a very good movie, just short of great - Sally Fields plays a formerly successful woman who has fallen on hard times after a harsh divorce. Judy Davis' character is a wealthy married woman, who thinks she has it all - but finds out she doesn't. Both Fields and Davis are excellent and the story is believable - the difficulty of middle-aged women in forging a new life and a new identity after divorce. It's also about not judging other people too harshly before you really get to know them. The movie is set on scenic eastern Long Island, probably the Hamptons, although it probably was filmed elsewhere. I watch this movie whenever it is repeated and always enjoy it. I highly recommend the movie.
  • I found this to be a very interesting and well done movie. We enjoyed the performances. Sally Field does an excellent job as does Judy Davis. Very interesting cross relationships make this movie well worth the time to watch.
  • jboothmillard12 December 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    I admit I did not think much of this film at first, but I decided to give it a go, especially because I like the star of films Forrest Gumnp and Mrs. Doubtfire. The result is a good not too sentimental drama. Basically Iris (Emmy nominated Sally Field) has left her old life behind and has nothing but a chance of a job as a maid for Paula (Emmy nominated Judy Davis). They start out pretty rough when Iris is getting of Paula making her go all over the place, but as Iris gets to know the other family members and makes friends with people at a book club, she discovers that these are the people that mean a lot. She also along the way has flashbacks of the life she lost when she divorced and her daughter stopped seeing her. Also starring Winston Rekert as Jack, Jerry Wasserman as Leo, Carly Pope as Beth, Jessalyn Gilsig as Callie, Gerard Plunkett as Graham, Alec Willows as Marcus, Denalda Williams as Yvonne and Peter Yunker as Oliver. Good!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie portrays people dealing with the barriers to unconditional caring created by norms of behavior involving money and family. The train operated with money gets Iris to her housekeeping job where she is able to sort out her money problems and family problems through caring about the people around her in the chance meetings she has with a person she met on the beach who turns out to be the bookstore owner, with meeting and conversing with the people she is giving housekeeping conditional caring which enables her to reconcile her relationship with a person that she was close to and had known previously. It is kind of sad how insecurity about money creates insecurity of relationships with people and how only with security involving money is she able to strengthen and stabilize her relationships with people. She has a solid, warm caring attitude towards people which seems to draw them to her.
  • gazineo-130 January 2004
    Below average bittersweet drama in which a divorced woman (Field) takes a job of governess in the house of a neurotic, unhappy rich woman (Davis) and by and by they become friends. Interesting and intense premise receives a shabby treatment and even the caracters are underdeveloped and restrained. Another good-point in a movie with this kind of theme - the dialogue - is poor and uninvolving. I give this a 05 (five).