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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: 9,739

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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Cast

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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

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

Some good acting but too slow paced to really be involving. Crudup's character is an absolute slimeball so it's hard to care anything for him.
August 28, 2009
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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