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500 Five-Star: The Accidental Tourist (1988)

June 19, 2011


There aren’t many things that annoy me more than someone saying “If you didn’t love this film, you’re obviously just not intelligent enough to appreciate it’s subtleties”.  It drives me absolutely insane.  I really don’t wish to sound too egotistical, but I think the fact that I have a First Class Honours degree in History and English Literature means I can be considered reasonably intelligent.  Sometimes films just don’t excite me in the way they do others.  I can be entertained by these films.  I can appreciate excellent performances within these films.  I can sometimes laugh at them, or be moved by them.  I’m just not in love with them.  The Accidental Tourist is one of those films.

There are many reasons to seek out this film.  William Hurt’s magnificent portrayal of a travel book writer, Macon, dealing with the death of a child and a pending divorce is one.  He completely embodies the weary man letting life pass him by.  Geena Davis (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar) is also memorably kooky and endearing as the girl who tries to lift Macon out of his-apparently lifelong-stupor.  There are many amusing moments, many sweet moments and the film as a whole is very nice and passes the time well enough.  It’s probably worth seeing just for the performance by Macon’s dog.

However, The Accidental Tourist just didn’t move me.  This may be because it is impossible for me to relate to a man in his 40’s going through a life crisis.  It may be because, really, nothing much happens.  Subtlety is all well and good, but if you need to see a film five or six times to really appreciate it’s nuances, then there has to be something there to make it worth watching over and over.  Whatever the reason though, it has nothing to do with a lack of brain capacity on my part, so please internet world…show a little less narrow-mindedness, would you?


Many people obviously have a deep connection to this film.  I’m not one of them; therefore I can only give it…


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