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"THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD"
(1996) (Renee Zellwegger, Vincent D'Onofrio) (PG)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A woman begins an on again, off again romance with a famed writer of pulp fiction.
PLOT:
Novalyne Price (RENEE ZELLWEGER) is a young teacher who’s always fancied herself a writer. When she gets the chance to meet famed pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard (VINCENT D'ONOFRIO), she jumps at the chance. They start spending time together, talking about sunsets and the art of writing. A romance soon blossoms, but Bob shies away, citing his need for freedom and the fact that he needs to care for his ailing mother, Mrs. Howard (ANN WEDGEWORTH). From then on, their friendship and fledgling romance comes and goes as the years go by.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Not a chance, unless they’re drawn by the love story.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For a substantial amount of mild language and mature thematic elements.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RENEE ZELLWEGER plays a strong willed young teacher who desperately wants to love Howard.
  • VINCENT D'ONOFRIO plays the famed writer whose passion for his work and his devotion to his dying mother leads him to intense mood swings and the inability to embrace romance.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    Those looking for a plot driven story or any semblance of pacing should look elsewhere. For this is a true character driven story that just so happens to have decent performances from its two leads. Zellwegger proves again that's she one of the hot, up and coming stars in the biz (her other big lead being in "Jerry Maguire") and D'onofrio shows that he hasn't lost any of the intensity he was first noted for in "Full Metal Jacket" (as the crazed soldier). Personally, this reviewer would have liked to have seen more plot details or at least a little humor to buffer the slow pace and overall serious tone this film has. While that might not be a big issue to other viewers, I think it's a serious flaw and one that will keep many viewers away from this piece. If it had been spruced up a bit, we'd give it a higher rating, but as it is, this one gets a 5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    While it's doubtful most kids will want to see this film, it contains nearly nothing objectionable and certainly no major events that will cause parents concern. Profanity isn't any worse than what's heard on network TV and sexual material is limited to some minor conversations and some line art drawings of nude woman (nothing explicit). Still, we suggest that you read through the scene listings to determine if this movie is appropriate for you and/or your family.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Bob says he can’t write stories about farmers who come home from work, get drunk and then beat up the wife.
  • When Novalyne asks what Bob and "the boys" do when they’re "on the prowl," he says they drink beer and talk about women.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • In one of Bob’s less glorious moments, he tells Novalyne that "they" made a mistake when they allowed women into college and when they gave them the right to vote.
  • Bob doesn’t always treat Novalyne right and at times displays something of a temper. When she wants to get romantically involved with him, he tells her that he needs to be free and not tied down.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Pistol: Found in one of Bob’s bags by Novalyne while driving. She playfully keeps it away from him for a moment until he gets it away from her.
  • Sword: Used by Bob to slice through some field brush when he’s angry.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bastard," "Shut up," "Fool," "Go to hell," and "Hussy."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There’s a mild amount of suspenseful music that occurs when Bob gets into his story telling.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 19 damns, 18 hells and 6 uses of "God damn," 2 uses each of "God," "Jesus," and "By God," and 1 use each of "My God," "Christ," "For God’s sakes," "Christ Almighty," and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Novalyne is shocked to find line art drawings of naked ladies (mainly breasts are seen, and nothing is explicit) in a book given to her by Bob.
  • While talking about what would make a "good story," Bob says "naked women."
  • Bob mentions a story about "naked chained women" in an orgy sacrifice.
  • SMOKING
  • Some people smoke cigars and pipes in a restaurant.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Bob’s mother gets sicker as the plot moves on, and at one point says that she’s going to miss him (when she dies).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of this film.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Novalyne gets a telegram stating that Bob killed himself.



  • Reviewed January 10, 1997

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