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bodies, rest & motion
starring phoebe cates, bridget fonda • drama • 1993 • rated r

plot summary: Nick (Tim Roth) is a TV salesman who just got fired. Feeling restless, he decides he and his girlfriend Beth (Fonda) should move from their Arizona home to Montana. Their neighbor is Carol (Cates), Beth's best friend and Nick's ex-girlfriend (they broke up in a similar move, when their cross-country drive never made it to their destination, Seattle). Now enter Sid (Eric Stoltz), the house painter boy, sent over to prep their rental home for the next residents.

review: Okay, this is one of those movies that came out in the early 90's, when there was a rush of obliquely-titled films about groups of young people doing pretty much nothing, but yet still somehow having life-altering epiphanies towards the end (see: Dream for an Insomniac, Kicking & Screaming, Singles). What, was Eric Stoltz like the "go-to" guy for these kinds of flighty films? Well, to make things worse: he was also one of the producers here. So, basically, he paid to have himself cast as the "sexy, blue-collar, enigmatic" Sid...Gag!

One of the things that makes a movie like this so unbelievable is just how old everyone looks. I'm sure they weren't really that old at the time, but Phoebe wears her hair in a french braid, for crissakes! That's soo 1987! They just look completely out of their element. Not even the guys, having grown out their hair and leaving it unwashed and dare I say "grungy", are convincing as drifting young adults. (Fonda is able to pull it off the best, perhaps why she worked so well in '92's Singles.)

I mean, we get it, they live dead-end lives. When Nick ends up leaving for Montana without Beth, she ends up in the arms of Sid, who just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but he thinks its love, destiny, whathaveyou. Roth is maybe the only one who comes out of this okay, as once he leaves Arizona, his character is given a meatier part as Nick tries to track down his estranged parents. Without having to share the spotlight, Roth is allowed a little more room to emote.

But anyhoo! At the end of it all, there's nothing about this film that really warrants a return visit. Sadly, not only has it not withstood the test of time, I don't think it ever really held up in the first place. (janice.12.04)


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