Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 127 minutes
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After putting her life in order, Juliette Lewis has returned from the abyss. Apparently Hollywood has decided she hasn’t been humiliated enough, so she gets to star in this “very special” episode about two ret-…, uh, mentally challenged individuals on a journey of discovery from sap-meister, Gary Marshall.
24 year-old Carla Tate (Lewis) is about to leave the sheltered, private boarding school for the ret-…, uh, mentally disabled where she has lived for the last ten years to return to her family in the bay area. Her mother (Diane Keaton) and father (Tom Skerritt), though, are emotionally ill-equipped to deal with an adult daughter with special problems. Our heroine takes a class at the local community college where she meets Daniel (Giovanni Ribisi), another ret-, uh, like-minded individual. The two find love and want to build a life together, if only mom can learn to let go. Hilarity ensues.
Personally, I thought “Exit to Eden” was Gary Marshall’s cry for help. From Anne Rice’s quasi-porn novel he created an insipid romantic comedy and heist film featuring Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Aykroyd in full S&M drag. I know who really should have been beaten. Gary, who also turned a streetwalking prostitute into America’s sweetheart in “Pretty Woman”, obviously isn’t well and I hope he someday gets the help he deserves. Until that time, the hits just keep comin’ with this atrocity, perhaps the worst film I’ll see all year. If not, it means I have to sit through something even worse. A romantic comedy with two ret-…, uh, mentally challenged people? The magic moment occurs when the two have a fight that quickly degenerates into, “YOU’RE STUPID! NO, YOU’RE STUPID.” Actually, I’m stupid for going to this movie in the first place. At least whenever we’re too appalled to know how to feel, some character will just launch into an awkward speech that’ll let us know.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to beat my head into a wall until I relieve myself of the memory of this film that was, well, retarded.
Posted on March 1, 1999 in Reviews by Ron Wells
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