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Inventing the Abbotts (1997)

tomatometer

25

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

53

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 9,768

My Rating

Movie Info

The lives of two closely linked, small town Illinois families dangerously intersect in this domestic drama set in the 1950s, based on a short story by Sue Miller and directed by Pat O'Connor. Though they are from the wrong side of the tracks, the working class brothers Jacey (Billy Crudup) and Doug Holt (Joaquin Phoenix) are in love with the wealthy and beautiful Abbott sisters. Shy and quiet Doug, who worships his womanizing brother, has eyes for the iconoclastic Pam (Liv Tyler), but Jacey's

R,

Drama, Romance

Ken Hixon

Mar 13, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (18) | DVD (4)

Cast of newcomers is appealing, but this small-town melodrama is so old-fashioned and out-of-touch with contemporary youth that it feels as if it were made the same time that its story is set, in 1957.

August 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, it adds up to nothing more than a humorless, forgettable nostalgia piece with carefully re-created costumes and settings from the Eisenhower years.

July 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

If looked at in the right perspective, as a soap and not as the serious drama it pretends to be, this is quite diverting, if emotionally hollow, melodrama.

January 18, 2004 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Offers an inventive and engaging exploration of emotional intelligence.

August 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

It is rare to find a film that treats teenagers and young adults as real people who think for themselves, and own up to their mistakes

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Inventing the Abbotts

Love no matter what.

Good Film! I found this to be a sweet and emotional film. The story takes you back in time, and brilliantly captures the attitudes and prejudices of small town life. Every actor in this film gives such a genuine performance that you can't help being sucked into their world, a world where what is said by the rich can either save or condemn as they see fit. Each location used in the film leaves an imprint on you, from the garage where the brothers always unite over a game of ping-pong to the romance of the abandoned farm where the sparks of love really begin to fly. "Inventing the Abbotts" is a coming of age story that captures the awkwardness of adolescence without all the cheese that so often pervades the genre. It is a tale of love and lust, rich and poor, pure and simple. All in all, "Inventing the Abbotts" is a splendid movie that *somehow* teaches you to love "no matter what".

Set in the 1950s, Inventing the Abbotts is 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. The boys, Jacey and Doug Holt, have only three things in common: their family, table tennis and chasing the beautiful Abbott sisters. Their father, a reckless risk-taker, lost his life through a wager with Lloyd Abbott, his then business partner.
June 6, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

I can remember watching this one a few years back and really being not impressed. However, I really couldn't remember a lot about it, so when I saw this as a free rental, decided I wound give it another go.
I have to say it was nowhere near as bad as I remembered. It is a fairly subdued film, no one in it is terribly happy and added to that, it is set in the 50's. Not a great time for women, I would say. No wonder the 3 Abbott girls have issues! Liv Tyler is pleasant here, where Jennifer Connelly I found a little less so, but really she is not in it enough to matter. She's not awful, but I just don't buy her as that character. Joaquin Phoenix was the real surprise here. I am not generally a fan, but he nails it here. Quite compelling. I am thinking I will check out some other films he is in.
Overall not one I would recommend chasing down, but not bad, and possibly just perfect viewing on an insomnia night, as it was for me, if you happen to catch it on tv.
June 30, 2011
romy861

Super Reviewer

Not a bad film, not really my cuppa tea but I kept watching so it can?t be that bad I guess!
September 29, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Joaquin Phoenix and Liv Tyler play excellent children.
September 25, 2009
puffchunk
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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