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Denise Calls Up (1996)

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 97

My Rating

Movie Info

Thanks to the technological marvels of wireless phones, answering machines, the internet, and e-mail, it is no longer necessary actually to see anyone you know, and seven friends have taken this notion to its logical extreme in this comedy. Linda (Aida Turturro) throws a birthday party and to her dismay, none of her friends show up. The next day, while making phone calls with several acquaintances (none of whom ever meet face to face), Linda hears the same excuse from everyone: they were busy

PG-13,

Comedy

Oct 22, 1996

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (5)

A minor but quirkily charming comedy about alientaion, love, and folly that reflects the zeitgeist in terms of AIDS and modern technology.

June 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Salwen has captured and properly identified a very particular modern American species. His emergence as a filmmaker is a true event.

October 16, 2002
Washington Post
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At only 80 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome, but slight though it may be, it knows how to create constant smiles.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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It's hard to care about a movie story in which the characters never meet one another or really care about one another.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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After a while, besides enjoying the stories as such, we begin to enjoy the film's trickiness, almost all on the phone, as a sort of high-wire act.

January 1, 2000
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Doesn't go much past its gimmick, but it marks Salwen as a talent worth watching.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Who'd have thought a movie about people talking on the phone could be so fun?

June 4, 2004
Reel.com

Insightful comedy about keeping in touch in the modern world.

August 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Denise Calls Up is, if limited, a surprising success.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The conceit of having everyone talk together almost exclusively by cell phone wears out its welcome by the halfway mark.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The film is never really funny-ha-ha, but it never bores the viewer at all thanks to Hal Salwen's direction.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

An alert, funny antisocial comedy.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

Even given its inherent limitations, it is interesting, unique, and thought provoking.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Yes, the movie is a bunch of skits, all right. But in the end it sketches the more elaborate portrait of funny people who don't realize how funny they really are.

January 1, 2000
Jam! Movies

As witty as this film is, Salwen can't get around the fact that a movie about people who don't meet saddles a director with a lot of scenes focusing on one person talking to no one but a piece of machinery.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

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