The Accidental Tourist Reviews
William Hurt and Kathleen Turner play a couple who's child passes away which places a lot of strain on the marriage. The couple divorces and in comes an off the wall lady into his ife (Geena Davis). She re introduces a new passon in his life...Geena Davis won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress and rightfully so.
I like Hurt in a lot of stuff, but this is not one of his better roles. I still recommend you go see the movie though. It's one of the few 80's adult comedies that actually stands the test of time.
Okay, so business travel isn't the same as non-business travel. Still, I can't believe that it would be your goal to avoid all semblance of actually being in a place, even if you're only there because you have to be. I've never had a job where I was going to travel for it, but I know people who have. At least one of them has asked me for suggestions about what there is to do in a city he was only visiting on business, too. I suppose it's probably true that the majority of people going places on business would rather be home. But the idea that you would go to Paris, London, New York for any reason and spend your time there trying to pretend you're home is not one which quite fits in my head. Yes, okay, I'm probably more inclined toward a fake American restaurant in most cities than I am toward eating the local cuisine, but I'm a remarkably fussy eater, and with luck, a fake American restaurant would be close enough to American food that I could eat it. Even there, it's only some American food! But I really can't imagine going to London and not having any interest in seeing nothing but crappy restaurants, my hotel, and wherever I was going on business. Isn't that just making things more miserable?
Macon Leary (William Hurt) writes a series of books about business travel wherein he is the eponymous Accidental Tourist. The person who travels because he has to, not because he wants to--which is great, in a way, because Macon hates traveling, too. His son (Seth Granger) has died, and he and his wife, Sarah (Kathleen Turner), have grown distant to the point that she leaves him. Macon has to leave for London. Sarah's building does not accept dogs. The last place they boarded the dog, who was his son's, will not take him again, because he bit someone. So Macon leaves the dog in a new place, where Muriel Pritchett (Geena Davis) works as a dog trainer. A Goldbergian series of events, after Macon returns home, end with the dog's causing him to break a leg, and this convinces him to accept Muriel's repeated suggestion of obedience training. The more time he spends with her, the more he comes to care for her. Caring is foreign to him in a lot of ways, despite the appearance of closeness of his eccentric family. None of whom quite approve of Muriel, who is not Their Kind of People.
To their credit, I don't think it's ever that she's poor. Or lower class. She is, of course. She is also brash and tacky, which seemed to be the theme for the year, at least for actresses; Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her role, and Melanie Griffith in [i]Working Girl[/i] lost to Jodie Foster in [i]The Accused[/i]. But I think it's more that there was so much of her. Muriel has a great deal of personality, almost more than will fit even in her six-foot-tall frame. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the entire Leary family, Sarah and Ethan excepted, fall somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Probably Apserger's. Rose (Amy Wright) insists on alphabetizing their pantry, and she is very upset that Macon didn't know that "elbow macaroni" doesn't go under "noodles" or "pasta." Charles (Ed Begley, Jr.) and Porter (David Ogden Stiers) aren't drawn as clearly, but they are still that sort of distant absentminded which suggests an intelligence which doesn't know how to come out from behind itself. Porter, for example, will not accept anything to do with feelings as a positive about Muriel.
Graham, glancing at the movie at one point, commented on how impressed he was by the cast, and it's true that there are some big names in it. I haven't even mentioned Bill Pullman as Julian, Macon's publisher, yet. But I think probably the best-known of the lot at the point the movie came out was Stiers, who had been on a very highly rated TV show for some years. And I suppose there was Ed Begley, Jr., and [i]St. Elsewhere[/i]. Everyone else had made a splash of one kind or another in the years leading up to this--in fact, Geena Davis apparently read the book to Jeff Goldblum as he was in makeup on the set of [i]The Fly[/i]. However, none of them were exactly A-list. Actually, none of them ever quite made it to A-list, at least I don't think so. I think they all kind of hover somewhere between the C- and B-lists, with Geena Davis occasionally looking to rise higher. In part on the strength of the Oscar she won for this, of course. But I think this is another one of those movies which cashed in on a lot of rising stars to get attention instead of spending the money on a single big name.
While I think Muriel could be good for Macon, I really don't know what Macon could do for Muriel. I suppose she'd be living better with him than she is on her own with her son, Alexander (Robert Hy Gorman). But I think that, unless Macon learns to communicate, things would just go for Muriel the way they did with Sarah. I think Muriel is better able to force the issue than Sarah, but I don't think she ought to. I think if she stays with her work, she'll be able to afford a better life on her own soon enough, too. I think it's a common failing of this sort of movie that we aren't supposed to ask the question, though. She love him, for whatever reason, and she makes him a better person, and that should be enough. I think it's just more evidence of the idea that the assumption in movies is that the common experience is to be a well-off straight white male. We aren't supposed to have lived the life that Muriel is living; she is supposed to be the breath of fresh air who makes us realize that our own lives aren't good enough. But I think that may be what she sees in Macon--his life is better than hers, and she sees how she could be living it better than he does.