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"THE PALLBEARER"
(1996) (David Schwimmer, Gwyneth Paltrow) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A twenty-five-year-old becomes involved with two women: One whom he had a crush on during high school, the other the mother of a dead friend he can't remember.
PLOT:
Tom Thompson (DAVID SCHWIMMER) is a depressingly immature twenty-five-year-old unemployed guy who one day is notified of the death of a high school classmate of his, Bill Abernathy. The problem is he doesn't remember the guy but ends up going to the funeral and acts as if the guy was his best friend. At about the same time the girl of his dreams, Julie DeMarco (GWYNETH PALTROW) who he secretly loved back in high school, returns to town. While trying to spark some romance with Julie, he ends up having a "Mrs. Robinson/The Graduate" affair with the dead friend's mother, Ruth Abernathy (BARBARA HERSHEY). He then must deal with the two women, a bunch of friends who alternately support or disappoint him, and his own insecure immaturity.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
David Schwimmer (Ross in TV's "Friends") will probably draw some, but the movie's nowhere near the comedy it's made out to be, and most kids will find it boring while parents will remember a similar story in the far superior "The Graduate."
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DAVID SCHWIMMER plays an immature, uncertain, twenty-five year old, who's unemployed and still living at home. He also has sexual relations with two women (one much older) at the same time.
  • GWYNETH PALTROW plays his love interest, a woman who's trying to find herself.
  • BARBARA HERSHEY plays the mother of the dead friend and she has an affair with Tom and then gets upset when he tries to call it off.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Some bums outside a store drink beer and smoke.
  • Tom arrives at a party with some wine and others are seen drinking wine and beer.
  • Some guys drink beer at a bachelor party and the groom-to-be is very drunk.
  • Guests drink wine and cocktails at a wedding reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Tom's friends break up in laughter at Bill's funeral (they're laughing because they know that Tom, who's giving the eulogy, doesn't remember the dead man).
  • Tom, helping carry the casket to the hearse, diverts the other pallbearers away so that he can ask Julie out.
  • Tom spies on Julie with binoculars while she's working (which wouldn't be so bad if he was fourteen, but he is twenty-five and this borders on obsessive behavior).
  • Tom's married friend gets the hots for Julie and ends up kissing her.
  • After having slept with Ruth several times, Tom tries to blow her off since he's now sleeping with Julie.
  • Julie's father is rude to Tom (he's upset that Julie wants to "find herself" and takes out his anger on Tom).
  • Tom thinks about killing himself and ends up sitting in a running car in a closed garage.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Bastard," and "Screw me over."
  • Attempting suicide when things don't seem to be going well.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1"f" word, 6 "s" words, 2 "ass" words, 1 hell, 1 damn, and 9 uses of "Jesus" and 3 of "God" as exclamations.
  • Also there are 5 uses of the word friggin' (in place of the real "f" word).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • There is thick sexual tension between Tom and Ruth Abernathy which ends up with them sleeping together (nothing seen but kissing and then the two of them in bed together).
  • Tom rolls off of Ruth after they've had sex again (nothing seen).
  • Julie states that she and her old boyfriend were living together.
  • Tom and Julie make out on his bed.
  • Tom and Julie are in bed together the next morning (implying that they had sex).
  • Ruth confronts Tom in a restaurant (with Julie and her parents) and says "Sex, sex, sex. Is that all you think of?"
  • There are scantily clad women dancing on tables at a bachelor party.
  • SMOKING
  • Some bums outside a store drink beer and smoke.
  • Ruth Abernathy smokes a cigarette.
  • Some guys smoke cigars at a bachelor party.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A couple has a fight in a kitchen and the woman yells and throws things in anger.
  • There is a long funeral scene with grieving relatives.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Suicide (his "best friend" kills himself and later Tom almost recreates that earlier scene).
  • Tom's overall behavior and how kids shouldn't grow up to be that way (depressed, immature, unemployed, simultaneoulsy sleeping with several women, etc...).
  • VIOLENCE
  • A young man is found dead in his car from carbon monoxide poisoning (a suicide).
  • A woman friend is fed up with Tom's complaining and she goes after him and has to be restrained.
  • Tom is forcibly removed from carrying the casket and is pushed to the ground (after he's led the pallbearers away from the hearse in order to ask Julie out).
  • Tom's drunken friend punches Tom in the stomach.
  • Tom sits in a running car in a closed garage (thinking about killing himself).
  • In anger, Ruth throws her coffee cup which shatters on the floor.



  • Reviewed May 17, 1996

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