[Screen It]


(1997) (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dylan McDermott) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild None Mild None None
Mild None None None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Mild Heavy Moderate Mild Minor

Romantic Comedy: Two people, who've had problems finding true love, make their way through a series of events that bring them closer to meeting each other.
Gwen Moss (JEANNE TRIPPLEHORN) is a successful ghost writer who's had less success with her love life. Nick Dawkan (DYLAN MCDERMOTT) is a successful architect who's had similar romantic problems. Events transpire, however, that soon bring them closer together. Nick is hired to design a new building on land owned by former TV child star, Francesca Lanfield (SARAH JESSICA PARKER). Gwen just so happens to move into the existing building on that land, and after a series of near misses, she and Nick finally find each other and true love.
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, or of old-fashioned romance stories, it's doubtful most kids will want to see this film.
For sensuality, language and drug references.
  • JEANNE TRIPPLEHORN plays a woman looking for love who sleeps with her college professor, smokes a lot, and is depressed about the lack of a romantic relationship in her life.
  • DYLAN MCDERMOTT plays a man "incapable of giving or receiving love" who, despite being a successful architect, isn't happy either.
  • SARAH JESSICA PARKER plays a former child TV star and drug addict, who is bossy and only concerned with her own well-being.


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    This is a film that will obviously be compared to "Sleepless in Seattle" (with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Both are romantic comedies involving two single people who just miss bumping into each other until the very end of the movie when they finally find true love. As in that film, there are many close encounters where the two future lovers nearly meet, but unlike Hanks and Ryan who were trying to find each other, this film's coincidental near misses are too numerous and contrived. The fact that Gwen is run off the road by Nick's lover and runs into the back of a former fellow student's car, who just happens to be moving a dead friend's belongings from an apartment in a building owned by Francesca that Nick is to rebuild, is as unbelievable as the run- on sentence I just wrote. Unlike "Sleepless," this film isn't that funny or inventive, and its slow pace and predictable plot undermine its efforts. It's as if the film makers were trying to update an old romantic classic, right down to the copious amounts of cigarette smoking and soft focus camera work without adding anything new to hold our interest. What we're left with is an old-fashioned production that just doesn't stand up to today's standards. With very little comedy (other than Tripplehorn trying her hand at slapstick humor by tripping, falling or repeatedly bumping her head in a restaurant), and characters that aren't compelling enough for us to root for them to get together, there isn't anywhere for this film to go. In addition, a story where the two characters don't meet until the final scene, while obviously a happy, anticipated occurrence, strains the audience's patience and endurance. While it worked in "Sleepless," it doesn't work that well here. We suspect that this film will head to video rather quickly where it will probably find a more receptive audience. We give this rather flat production a 3 out of 10.
    1 "f" word gives this film its PG-13 rating and easily could have been dropped altogether. Several sexual encounters are implied, but neither they nor any nudity (over than for some cleavage) is seen. Smoking is surprisingly heavy and the characters that smoke might not be seen as good role models depending on your views of that. Beyond some drinking, the other categories are rather tame and shouldn't prove to be too objectionable. While most kids will probably pass on this film, we do suggest that you examine the content before allowing them to see this, or if you're interested in it for yourself.

  • People drink beer at a party.
  • Scenes with Nick as a young boy show that his father was an alcoholic (he's often seen with a beer in hand, or sneaking a drink after his wife has gone to bed).
  • People drink wine at a reception.
  • Nick hears a report on the radio about Francesca being arrested for cocaine possession.
  • Francesca says, "God I love methamphetamines...more than life itself."
  • Gwen drinks wine on Thanksgiving at a friend's house.
  • People drink at a holiday party.
  • Gwen brings out glasses of wine for her and her date.
  • None.
  • Francesca only cares about herself and not others' feelings.
  • Nick lies to Francesca about having never seen her childhood TV show so that he'll come off looking different from the other men who've tried to hit on her.
  • Gwen is shocked to hear her father say that he never loved her mother (his wife) and that he married her to avoid arguing about when they first met. He then says that he can't wait for her mother to die so that he can go out and finally find his "true love."
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "You're dead meat," "I'd be...if my dumb parents...." "Idiot," "Bitch" (woman to another woman), "Sucks," and "Shut up."
  • There is a heavy amount of smoking throughout the movie by many characters.
  • Gwen and Francesca's agent smoke in his office and he disables the smoke detector to allow them to do so.
  • A man disables the smoke detector in his office so that he and Gwen can smoke there.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 1 slang term for breasts (the "t" word), 2 hells, 2 craps, 1 damn, and 7 uses of "Oh God," 5 of "Oh my God," 4 of "God," and 1 use of "My God" as exclamations.
  • A guy tells Gwen's mother (when she's a teen and concerning giving her back a ping pong ball), "What will you give me for it?" (implying something sexual).
  • In college, Gwen and her professor are in bed together (implying that they've had sex) after some passionate kissing, but that's it for any activity. Later, they're seen in bed again.
  • Nick is in bed, while a woman he's just had sex with is getting dressed (she's seen in her bra). She tells him that he's incapable of giving or receiving love, but then adds, "You always manage to squeeze intercourse into your busy schedule."
  • Gwen walks in on her professor/boyfriend caressing a male student's face in his office (implying a possible homosexual relationship).
  • Francesca often wears revealing clothing that exposes her cleavage.
  • Francesca asks where Nick's bedroom is and he comments about her not being very shy. She responds by saying, "My t*ts developed on TV, so shy stopped applying."
  • It's implied that Nick and Francesca have sex. Later, when moving in her belongings, she says that she's there every night, so why not bring her stuff over.
  • Francesca says (about her night with Nick), "Last night I had the most highly enjoyable sex possible."
  • It's implied that Nick and Francesca have had sex again, and she reads him a poem that includes the line, "You're the greatest at sex."
  • Francesca asks Nick, "Have you ever had sex in a parking lot?" and then leads him out the door (but nothing is seen).
  • Gwen and her councilman passionately kiss and she's seen in just her slip.
  • Gwen and Francesca often smoke, with Nick doing the same later in the movie.
  • Nick puts a cigarette into his mouth, but his girlfriend tells him not to light up.
  • An older architect woman smokes.
  • Gwen and Francesca's agent smoke in his office and he disables the smoke detector to allow them to do so.
  • Nick buys a carton of cigarettes for a co-worker's going away party, but she tells him that she quit smoking.
  • Both Nick and Gwen smoke before going into a nicotine anonymous meeting.
  • Nick's parents (when he's a child) fight in front of him and later the family is evicted from their home.
  • Gwen is shocked to hear her father say that he never loved her mother (his wife) and that he married her to avoid arguing about when they first met. He then says that he can't wait for her mother to die so that he can go out and finally find his "true love."
  • Nick admits that his father is an alcoholic, and that he hasn't spoken to him in years and doesn't want to.
  • Gwen is depressed about her lack of romance and says, "Why can't I find someone?...Am I so misshapen?...Am I so repellant?...Why can't it just happen?" Many teens in the throes of failed or lost romance might identify with her.
  • Gwen is shocked to hear her father say that he never loved her mother (his wife) and that he married her to avoid arguing about when they first met. He then says that he can't wait for her mother to die so that he can go out and finally find his "true love."
  • Gwen's mother (as a teen) smacks a guy after he vaguely suggests they fool around.
  • Nick accidentally bumps into his architecture model that then falls from the window and crashes onto Gwen's head (she's not hurt).
  • A woman cuts off Gwen while driving, causing her to swerve and run into the back of a parked car.
  • Gwen accidentally knocks over a waiter as she knocks herself silly on a restaurant's large sculpture artwork.

  • Reviewed April 16, 1997

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