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"LANTANA"
(2001) (Anthony LaPaglia, Kerry Armstrong) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: The lives of four married couples become increasingly intertwined when one of the wives turns up missing.
PLOT:
Leon Zat (ANTHONY LaPAGLIA) is a police detective who isn't happy with his life or marriage to wife Sonja (KERRY ARMSTRONG). Accordingly, he's having an affair with Jane O'May (RACHAEL BLAKE), a woman in his and Sonja's dance class who's separated from her husband, Pete (GLENN ROBBINS).

She lives next-door to Nik (VINCE COLOSIMO) and Paula D'Amato (DANIELA FARINACCI) and is jealous of their apparent happiness together, despite their messy house and him currently being unemployed.

Not lacking for work is psychiatrist Valerie Somers (BARBARA HERSHEY) whose own marriage to husband John Knox (GEOFFREY RUSH) has been in a downward spiral ever since their 11-year-old daughter was murdered two years ago. Among her clients is Sonja, who realizes more than a little is amiss in their marriage, as well as Patrick (PETER PHELPS), a gay man whose affair with another married man becomes increasingly disturbing for Valerie.

As the couples try to sort out their particular problems, one of the wives ends up missing. As Leon and his cop partner, Claudia (LEAH PURCELL), start investigating and try to solve the case, the couples' lives crisscross in various unexpected ways.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens may want to, as might fans of anyone in the cast, but this one doesn't seem overly enticing to most other kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTHONY LaPAGLIA plays a cop who's cheating on his wife with Jane. Basically unhappy in his life, he treats most everyone badly, smokes, and uses strong profanity, although he eventually confesses to his wife and tries to make things right.
  • KERRY ARMSTRONG plays his wife who hates how their marriage has turned out. She sees a therapist about that and is then upset when he admits to having an affair. She briefly uses strong profanity.
  • LEAH PURCELL plays Leon's cop partner who briefly uses some strong profanity and doesn't approve of his behavior, but does cover for him one time when his wife calls.
  • BARBARA HERSHEY plays a psychiatrist who tries to help others while dealing with her own marriage that's been progressively failing since her daughter was murdered two years ago. She uses some brief profanity.
  • GEOFFREY RUSH plays her emotionally distant husband who uses strong profanity and hasn't been the same since their daughter's death.
  • PETER PHELPS plays a gay man who's having an affair with a married, bisexual man.
  • RACHAEL BLAKE plays a woman separated from her husband who has an affair with Leon and then seemingly sets her sights on Nik. She also drinks and smokes.
  • GLENN ROBBINS plays her husband who seemingly wants to get back with her.
  • DANIELA FARINACCI plays Jane's married neighbor and friend who uses some strong profanity and becomes suspicious of Jane's intentions toward Nik.
  • VINCE COLOSIMO plays her unemployed husband who seems to have some sort of involvement with a missing woman. He drinks and smokes.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 29 uses of the "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as are several sexual encounters that include movement and related sounds. One man is noted as being gay and being involved with a married, heterosexual man.

    Some of those encounters involve a couple having an affair, and all sorts of other tense family moments are present as various marriages are strained and the couples are unhappy. Accordingly, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some characters drink and/or smoke, while a teen is briefly seen doing drugs in his bedroom.

    The sight of the clothed body of a dead woman lying in the brush opens the film, and for most of the picture we don't know if she was murdered or not. Violence includes a cop repeatedly kicking a suspect and manhandling other people, while two people accidentally run headfirst into each other, resulting in some bloody noses.

    Should the film's appropriateness for you or anyone else in your home still be of concern to you, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, a scene set in a dance club includes many instances of full strobe effects.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • John has a drink and asks Valerie if she wants some whiskey. She replies that she has an early meeting and thus doesn't.
  • Jane has a drink, while Paula has a beer.
  • Leon pours himself a drink and we see that Sonja already has one.
  • Leon and Jane have drinks.
  • Valerie has wine and John has a drink.
  • Leon has a drink in a bar where Pete then arrives and orders a double bourbon. Leon then buys him another.
  • Leon comes home, notices a smell and then bursts into his oldest son's room to find him smoking drugs. Later, when Leon tells Sonja about this, she says that she knows and told him to do it there (in a controlled environment).
  • Leon orders a whiskey at a bar.
  • Leon and John have whiskey.
  • Jane has a drink.
  • Nik has a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • As the camera slowly pans from her feet to her head, we see a clothed dead woman's body - lying face down - that has what look like some bloody scrapes and cuts on certain parts of the exposed skin.
  • As Leon jogs around a corner, he and another man accidentally smack into each other headfirst, resulting in both of them having bloody noses and blood on their faces and shirts.
  • We see Leon and Pete standing at a long urinal in a public bathroom, but don't see any urine.
  • Nik has some bloody looking scrapes on his face.
  • We see a few bloody scrapes on a dead person's arm.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Leon treats Sonja badly. He's cheating on her, lies about his actions, and is short and/or mean to her many times. He also treats others, such as Jane, his lover, badly.
  • Claudia apparently covered for Leon when Sonja called and asked about his whereabouts (we don't see the scene, but do hear about it), but she states that she'll only do it once.
  • Related to that, Jane has a bad attitude for having an affair with a married man (especially since she knows Sonja).
  • Patrick admits to sleeping with a married man and having no qualms about trying to steal him away from the man's wife.
  • Jane has her eye on Nik, her married neighbor, and briefly puts the moves on him (but nothing happens).
  • Sonja nearly has sex with a guy she meets at a dance club (she does fool around with him in a parked car).
  • Leon secretly takes some confidential tape recordings from Valerie's office while working on a case.
  • John admits to Leon about cheating on Valerie (and Leon lies about ever having an affair), and about not picking up the phone when she was calling for help.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • After her car runs off the road and won't start, a woman walks down a wooded street at night. She then makes several calls from a phone booth and then sees an approaching car. She waves it down, but the scene ends there so we don't know what else happens at that moment (the scene isn't overtly suspenseful, but it might be a little unsettling to some women).
  • Jane hides in the large and thick Lantana bush from a man she believes might be responsible for another woman's disappearance (but the man is distracted and walks away after trying to peer inside it).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Are you f*cking stupid?" "What the f*ck /is wrong with you?" "F*cking idiot," "F*ck up," "You f*cking uptight bitch," "I f*cked up," "Get f*cked," "What the f*ck are you doing about it?" "No f*cking right," "Bullsh*t," "You do really look like sh*t," "You're in deep sh*t," "Scum," "You're pissing all over it" (not urine related), "What the hell was that about?" "Nuts" (crazy), "Balls" (testicles), "Shut up," "Pissed off" and "Where the hell have you been?"
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 29 "f" words (2 used sexually), 14 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 2 hells, 4 uses of "Jesus," 2 of "For Christ's sakes" and 1 use each of "God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear sexual sounds and then see Leon having sex on top of Jane in a head and shoulders shot (that shows movement and includes related sounds). When they're done, Leon states that he really enjoyed that and Jane (we see her panties beneath her pantyhose as she gets dressed) replies that she did as well. Later, as Leon is driving off, he reaches down into his pants and finds her missing earring.
  • A dance instructor tells Leon and Sonja that the dance they're learning is about sex and a man and woman joined groin to groin, and so pushes their clothed bodies together.
  • After Leon asks Claudia if she's seeing anyone and then why not a cop, she replies that cops are lousy in bed.
  • Patrick tells Valerie in therapy that he met a married man and they had sex. Valerie then asks if the other man is gay. Patrick replies that when he's with him, he seems to be.
  • Leon and Jane have sex again, this time with him behind her. We never see their bodies together, as the camera cuts between shots of him from the bare chest up and her head rhymically hitting the headboard or wall. Both shots show/suggest movement and include related sounds. He briefly stops to give her a pillow for her head, but she tells him not to stop. They do stop, however, when he suddenly has chest pains (but is okay).
  • Valerie asks John if it concerns him that they don't make love that often. He says that it doesn't, that he loves her, and whether they make love three times a week or once a month doesn't change that.
  • We see a full shot of John and Valerie having sex in bed, with him on top of her (we see his bare back) and the lower parts of their bodies covered by a sheet. We see movement and hear related sounds.
  • Jane shows some cleavage, as does Valerie in her nightgown in an unrelated scene and Sonja in others.
  • Sonja tells Valerie that she thinks Leon is having an affair, and then adds that it's not that he's slept with another woman that would hurt her, but rather that he wouldn't tell her, and that would be the betrayal.
  • Patrick tells Valerie that he offers his male lover "sex unencumbered by need." He then adds that his lover stated that making love to his wife is like trying to fill an empty well.
  • Nik tells Paula that Jane tried to come on to him, causing Paula to reply that Jane being lonely and him being bored is a lethal combination. She then half-jokingly adds that if he ever "f*cked" with their marriage she'll cut his "balls" off.
  • Some women in a dance club show cleavage, while Sonja dances with a young man. They're having a good time and the man then tells her, "I'd like to f*ck with you." She's taken back a bit, but doesn't leave. Later, we see the two of them making out in a parked car. She wants to go back to his place, but he says they can't due to his mother being there. The guy then reclines her seat and climbs on top of her, groping her, trying to remove her clothes and starting to undo his pants. She gets uncomfortable with this and pushes him off her, causing him to be mad and drive off in a huff.
  • Leon and Claudia go to see Patrick about his missing psychiatrist. Leon then mentions something about the guy he was "f*cking." We then see the man's bisexual lover in the bedroom, but don't see anything sexual.
  • Pete tries to put his arm around Jane in bed, but she tells him not to do it.
  • SMOKING
  • Jane, Leon and Nik all smoke several times.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Leon and Sonja have an unhappy marriage, with him cheating on her (when not acting standoffish to her) and her seeing a therapist about it. After he admits to having an affair, we see that he's slept on the couch and then see that his kids know of their marital problems (but not the specifics) as he tries to get back into her good graces.
  • We learn that Valerie and John's 11-year-old daughter was murdered two years ago and that their marriage has never been the same since (meaning it's gone downhill). She tells him that she hates what's happening to them, that they don't talk anymore. He then says they lost their daughter. She replies that could have brought them closer.
  • Patrick admits to sleeping with a married man and having no qualms about trying to steal him away from the man's wife (but we never see that married couple together until the very end and they're not having any marital problems in that scene).
  • We learn that Jane is separated from Pete, her husband, and she admits that she suddenly realized she was living with a man she didn't love anymore.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Relationships, what makes them work, and that they can go bad for a variety of reasons.
  • Men often suppressing their feelings and emotions.
  • Sonja telling Leon that she permitted their oldest son to smoke drugs in their house so that at least it will happen in a controlled environment (she's okay with that, he's not).
  • Affairs.
  • VIOLENCE
  • As the camera slowly pans from her feet to her head, we see a clothed dead woman's body - lying face down - that has what look like some bloody scrapes and cuts on certain parts of the exposed skin (we don't know if she died accidentally or is a victim of murder).
  • Leon and other cops raid a room where a suspect throws one of them to the ground. They then grab the suspect and Leon repeatedly kicks him on the floor (we don't see the impact).
  • As Leon jogs around a corner, he and another man accidentally smack into each other headfirst, resulting in both of them having bloody noses and blood on their faces and shirts.
  • Valerie falls asleep while driving down a wooded road and comes to just as her car goes off the road and crashes into a small pole.
  • Leon grabs Patrick in anger when he thinks the man is hiding information from him.
  • Leon grabs Nik and pushes him back against a wall.
  • A person runs through the woods at night, accidentally going off a cliff and falling to their apparent death (we don't see the impact).



  • Reviewed January 22, 2002 / Posted February 1, 2002

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