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   INVENTING THE ABBOTTS (1997) 

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CAST
Liv Tyler
Joaquin Phoenix
Billy Crudup
Jennifer Connelly
Joanna Going
Barbara Williams
Will Patton
Kathy Baker
Michael Sutton

DIRECTED BY
Pat O'Connor

PURCHASE


DVD




Time: 110 mins.
Rating: R
Genre: Romance/Drama


SYNOPSIS: A dramatic look at the life of two boys from the wrong side of the tracks and their interaction with the three daughters of local aristocrat Lloyd Abbott.

BOTTOM LINE: The only reason to see this movie is for its young and gorgeous cast, though their performances here are hardly remarkable. The film takes place in the 1950s and centers on the lust/love two young men – Crudup and Phoenix – have for the socially unattainable neighbor girls played by Going, Connelly and Tyler. What makes the whole thing unbearable is the ponderous pacing, unoriginal plot and lackluster acting. What could have been an interesting social commentary on class and sexuality in America at the time, is nothing more than a high school soap opera. There's not a single surprise in this film. Everything happens exactly as you expect from the first frame to the last, which is probably why it feels like the film is playing in slow motion. Boring doesn't even begin to describe the experience. Connelly and Crudup bring energy and passion to the piece, but their roles are so small their presence is barely felt. Instead, we get to watch Tyler and Phoenix be pouty, self-conscious and awkward on the way to finding true love. It's easy to understand why they'd be friends, but they have absolutely no chemistry and seem to end up together because the story needed at least one Holt brother and one Abbott sister to find happiness together. Not good enough. A period piece locked down by its setting that wastes the talent of all involved.




"I know all there is to know about screwing your way into a wealthy family and there's no way I'm gonna let you screw your way into mine."

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