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"I'M NOT RAPPAPORT"
(1996) (Walter Matthau, Ossie Davis) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Mild Mild Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor Mild Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two old men spend their days talking about their lives, and life in general, in Central Park.
PLOT:
Nat (WALTER MATTHAU) and Midge (OSSIE DAVIS) are two men who regularly meet on a park bench in New York's Central Park. While acting like they don't care for each other, the two revel in talking about their lives and life in general. Nat is a man of many self-made identities and depending on the day and the situation at hand, he may be anything from a spy to a lawyer to a consumer advocate. This is disconcerting to his daughter, Clara (AMY IRVING), who thinks it's time her father gave up on his theatrics and settled down into a managed care facility. Nat won't have any of that and instead focuses on helping out others who are facing some sort of injustice. Midge, a building supervisor for 40 plus years, goes to the park for rest and relaxation, and doesn't want or think he needs any help and continoulsy puts down Nat's behavior. But when Danforth (BOYD GAINES), a tenant committee's front man, wants to eliminate both Midge's job and his place of residence, Nat steps up in the guise of a lawyer and buys Midge an extension in both. Things get more dicey when Nat intervenes as J.C. (GUERMO DIAZ), a local thug, wants "protection" money from the old and homeless, and when the two men get involved with Laurie (MARTHA PLIMPTON), an artist and in-debt drug user. When her dealer, "Cowboy" (CRAIG T. NELSON), threatens her life, Nat steps in, and with the aide of Midge, hopes to bluff her way to safety.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Not unless they're fans of any of the actors starring in this production.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For drug content and momentary violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's doubtful any kids will see these actors as role models, or that they'll see this production, but in case they do:
  • WALTER MATTHAU plays a man who revels in helping others by assuming a fake identity as someone in power or authority who then bluffs his way to success. Other than that, his major bad behavior is smoking marijuana ("for his glaucoma").
  • OSSIE DAVIS plays an older man dealing with losing his sight as well as his job and residence. His bad traits are his stubborness to accept what's happening to him, as well as smoking pot with Nat.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    Based on the Tony award winning play, this movie is a delight for both its dialogue and the characters that speak it. Feeling much less liked the ordinary filmed stage play, this piece takes advantage of locales within New York's Central Park to give it more of a cinematic feel. But it's the witty and descriptive dialogue that creates the most detailed "scenery." And there's nobody better to pull that off than Matthau and Davis, two acting masters who get to have fun creating the old, stodgey characters that dominate the plot. As a matter of fact, Matthau's performance should have given him a shot at another Oscar nomination (the others being "The Sunshine Boys" and "Kotch.") The story does have a somewhat weak subplot involving a drug user and dealer that eventually connects to the main plot and serves its dramatic purpose, but could've been dropped altogether or rewritten to make more sense. But that's just a small objection to this enjoyable flick. While it's obvious that this film won't be much of a draw to kids, adult audiences will enjoy it for its emphasis on age and wit over testosterone. If that sounds appealing to you, go see this movie. We give it a 7 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    While it's not likely that kids will want to see this film, here are the highlights of the possibly objectionable material. Both of the main characters smoke marijuana in one sequence where they get high from doing so and two other characters are a drug dealer and drug user (but no use is seen by them). Profanity is moderate with 13 "s" words and a variety of other milder words. Violence is limited to some scuffles between a young street punk and Nat, and the Cowboy and the two older men. If your kids want to see this one, or if you're concerned for yourself, we suggest that you read through the category listings first.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Nat lights up a joint (marijuana) that he got for his glaucoma, and both he and Midge smoke it and evidentally more joints in a sequence where they get a little "high."
  • Laurie is a drug abuser and is going through rehab.
  • The Cowboy is a drug dealer and in several scenes packaged boxes of drugs are seen being purchased by cash.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Laurie has a bloody nose and lip after being slapped by the Cowboy.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Midge states that he cheated on all of his wives throughout his life.
  • Nat often lies about who he is in order to facilitate helping others.
  • A young street punk preys upon the old and the homeless by making them pay protection money so that he doesn't hurt them.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Nat and Midge try to bluff the Cowboy into thinking their mobsters. When he realizes they're con artists, he begins to choke Nat. Midge pulls out a knife and threatens the Cowboy and unwisely follows him down into the subway (where it's implied that he gets beat up).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Toy Guns: Used by a little kid to shoot at the "Cowboy."
  • Knife: Used by J.C. to threaten Nat and later used by Midge to threaten the Cowboy.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Wise ass," and "Screwed up."
  • Nat often lies about who he is in order to facilitate helping others. Thus, he impersonates other people.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 13 "s" words, 13 hells, 9 damns, 4 "ass" words, 1 crap and 9 uses of "My God, " "Oh my God" or "Oh God," 8 uses of "God damn," 3 uses of "Jesus," 2 of "God," and 1 use of "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Midge asks Nat, "When was the last time you made love to a woman?" Nat responds that "...it comes up once a year like groundhog day."
  • Nat refers to his penis as "schmeickel."
  • Midge states that he cheated on all of his wives throughout his life.
  • Nat makes up a story about having an affair with a woman and having a child.
  • SMOKING
  • Midge smokes a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Claire wants to have Nat put into an extended care facility, and is prepared to legally prove that Nat isn't mentally or physically competent on his own.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Nat mentions a woman from the past who "took the gas" (put her head in the gas oven to kill herself).
  • Whether time is the enemy of older people and how older people are treated by society.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A union woman seen in flashback at the beginning of the century has a black eye, presumably from a beating from her bosses.
  • Midge tells Nat to get off his park bench and says, "Get off my spot before I lay you out." He then gets up and readies himself to box with Nat, but nothing happens.
  • Nat mentions a woman from the past who "took the gas" (put her head in the gas oven to kill herself).
  • A street punk squeezes Nat's hand after Nat won't pay his protection money.
  • The punk pulls out a knife to threaten Nat, but gets hit on the wrist and drops the knife. Nat then hits the punk on the back when he bends down to pick up the knife. The punk grabs Nat and pushes him to the ground where he falls unconscious.
  • The Cowboy slaps Laurie several times.
  • The Cowboy tells Laurie that if he doesn't get his cash back, she won't get any older (ie. He'll kill her).
  • Nat and Midge try to bluff the Cowboy into thinking their mobsters. When he realizes they're con artists, he begins to choke Nat. Midge pulls out a knife and threatens the Cowboy and unwisely follows him down into the subway (where it's implied that he gets beat up).



  • Reviewed November 22, 1996

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