Next Stop Wonderland - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Next Stop Wonderland Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 17, 2007
Did you ever hear that old adage, "Love always finds you when you aren't looking for it" or "You can't find finds you."? Here you have it. A woman is caught between her feelings of contentment with being alone and some nagging need inside her that tells her she needs love and to be loved. There is even a dialogue between Erin (The main character played by Hope Davis...who is marvelous) and a colleague where her colleague turns to her and says, "Don't you just hate men?" and Erin turns back and says "No, I wish I did. It would make life a hell of a lot easier." While a series of missed meetings with someone who is apparently her soulmate play in the background she goes on various "dates" to find a suitable suitor. She is a hard match up. She is incredibly intelligent, strong-willed, beautiful, and most of all, fighting the need that she feels to be in love and loved in kind. Enter Alan, the aspiring Marine Biologist, but practicing plumber...who is always just out of reach in our seemingly small world. There are a few loose ends (probably better left untied) and a few performances that were lacking otherwise I might have given this movie 5 stars...I really did enjoy it that much. If you are looking for a love story/comedy wrapped in in anti-love story focused on a very strong female lead with some biting and witty dialogue, but is in no way a "chick flick"...this is your movie. Enjoy
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2012
This was supposed to be the film that launched Hope Davis' career as a mainstream actress but it didn't quite do that in the end. I thought this was a pretty amusing piece. Not too serious but not exactly a fluff piece either. Not bad.
November 26, 2015
It feels like a straight to dvd romcom, and for that class it is above average. Some good insights. Not highly recommended.
September 28, 2013
One sentence summary: It was not good, it was not bad, it was as interesting as porridge.

Erin's boyfriend (Sean) has dumped her. I see why immediately. Why she would ever do anything with Sean is not so easy to see.
The film is irritating and all too self-aware; incidental music is all too often wretched.
Halloween at the hospital; nursing staff scares the hell out of the toddlers.
Erin's mother Piper places a personal ad for Erin in the local newspaper without advising Erin.
Sub-plot: the aquarium where Alan is working is planning an addition. Not everyone likes this, and the aquarium grounds are vandalized. Arty Lesser and his construction company want to build a prison there.
At an aquarium party, Frank asks Alan to kill one of the aquarium attractions and Alan's money loan from Frank will have the interest removed.
The ad does it's work; Erin gets 60 messages on the first time she checks. Yikes, so many people, so many losers, at least in their telephone presentations of themselves. She skips most of these, and the skips most of those that she meets. The men she meets are unacceptable for one reason or another. The Emerson quote (a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds) was a deal-breaker for three of the possibles, one of which was Alan's brother. She notices that two men watching her with a third were men she had met before.
'The only person who can help you is yourself.' Right. Women do not need men. Point asserted again and again and again.
Seventy-eight minutes into the film, she still has not met Alan, but a Brazilian man (Andre) is very interested in her. Erin likes Brazil and Brazilian music, so that goes smoothly for a time. Alan is with Julie; this is doomed from the start. Alan with Julie heats up for a moment; so does Erin with Andre.
Sean comes back and wants to re-unite with Erin. No such luck.
Andre is about to go back to Brazil, and wants Erin to come with. She gears up to do this.
Alan gets to meet Arty Lesser, who tells Alan that he is at a turning point in his life.
Erin gets held up in traffic. She tries to make it using a train. More rotten camera work.
Missed connections. Erin does not go to Brazil. Alan does not solidify his position with the big-time gangster Lesser.
During the last two minutes, Erin and Alan connect on the Emerson quote, and go for a walk on the beach.


Cinematography: 4/10 Never in focus. The poor framing and wobbly camera movement is distracting and counterproductive as well as amateurish.

Sound: 7/10 Some of the jazz by named artists is rather good, but does not really add much.

Acting: 4/10 Hope Davis is uniformly bad; the extra layer of chain smoking was a layer I could have done without. Holland Taylor was fine, Alan Gelfant was OK. Hoffman was as irritating as usual. Just about nothing seems to have enough buoyancy to counterbalance the dead weight of Hope Davis.

Screenplay: 6/10 Slow developing. Is the payoff worth the long wait? No. So many sub-plots were left unresolved. The Brazilian trip goes down the tubes. Too many characters, too many dangling ends.
½ June 2, 2013
Being a romantic comedy, it gets occasionally silly, but not too much and it has its moments as well.
January 8, 2012
Hope Davis plays Erin Castleton, a 29-year-old nurse living in Boston. Her activist boyfriend Sean (Philip Seymour-Hoffman) dumps her and puts the reasons on a VCR tape, but at least he delivers it in person. She's hurt and upset, but not devastated-we sense he was not Mr. Right, but just somebody to be a couple with. Soon after, a co-worker begs Erin to come to a soiree with her to serve as an excuse to escape her date.
Meanwhile, Erin's mother, knowing that Erin is no extrovert, has submitted a personal newspaper ad for her. This does not please Erin, but when she finds that 61 admirers have responded to the ad, she's flattered and intrigued. With trepidation Erin begins to return calls.
The soiree Erin attends with her co-worker is to celebrate the expansion of a city aquarium. Alan (Alan Gelfant), a 35-year-old marine biology student works at the aquarium. His brother/roommate has seen Erin's "soul mate" ad and, for fun, has challenged two friends to a bet. They invite Alan, but being a better man, he declines. The bet is that they all answer Erin's ad, go out with her, and the first one to score gets $200 from the other two. Now, by "score" they mean French kiss, so that scenario isn't the reason for the R rating, but it's still a childish, mean-spirited act that women do NOT think humorous. Clearly, these man-children are not familiar with the phrase "a woman scorned."
Erin embarks on the dating adventure. The string of, shall we be kind and say, unlikely matches is hilarious to watch, including the three gamblers' fiasco. We aren't dragged through entire evenings, just the funny parts.
Although Erin wasn't madly in love with Sean, and even though she says she's never lonely, her tenacious pursuit of a romance demonstrates otherwise. We piece together her story: a harmonious upbringing by happily married parents, family vacations to peaceful and serene Ireland, a doting poet father, and his sudden death, which left a hole in her heart which could be filled only by a facsimile of her happy past.
I liked that the story had interesting elements and several interesting characters. It was entertaining and sweet. The editing was tight. The leading man wasn't gorgeous, but very appealing. His character development was in stages and very effective. My only issue with the film was that Hope Davis has only three expressions: sad, content, and asleep, and the last one is an assumption. The rating was a very mild R, perhaps because of language on one occasion. Not an Oscar winner, but if you're in the mood for a chick flick and have 105 minutes to kill, you could do worse. I give it a 6 1/2.
½ February 24, 2008
Probably the only film you'll see in a long time that affirms solitude as a perfect milieu for nurturing love, but what makes the movie work is the character of Erin, easily one of the most interesting and involving creations, male or female, ever devised for a chick flick.
September 10, 2009
A sweet story, nicely cast and acted. The Boston location filming is well used. Pleasant screenplay, good score. It can be a little dull at times. Overall though it's good.
September 10, 2009
A sweet story, nicely cast and acted. The Boston location filming is well used. Pleasant screenplay, good score. It can be a little dull at times. Overall though it's good.
½ February 11, 2009
Cute romance about Fate. I spent most of the movie thinking "why in hell did he/she just do that?" and "huh?" Odd documentary-like filming style.
November 18, 2008
First film by Brad Anderson ("The Machinist"). It's totally different from his later work, a sweet and engaging romantic comedy with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and H. Jon Benjamin in small parts!
June 13, 2008
Ahhh...the ever-so-lovely Hope Davis has NEVER looked as absolutely stunning as she does in this little-bitty gem of a romantic "chick flick" comedy that no one saw. Great bossa nova soundtrack and a script that rings true to life in regards to the perils of the dating scene. Wish Hope would just call me and not go through all of the yadda-yadda she's forced to go through in this one! ;-)
½ July 21, 2007
Serendipitous romance; as much as fate was denied, it came into play. What was meant to be will be, and happily for us, girl met boy, finally, after several near misses, and we can predict true happiness. A feel good movie.
Hope Davis shines.
June 17, 2007
A great little movie. I am normally nto a fan of romantic comedies but this one got me. The story line is creative and avoids the typical love story format that you see with so many other films.
½ June 1, 2007
It's refeshing to see a good romantic comedy for a change. A smart script and nice details higlight love's seredipitious nature.
February 26, 2007
The movie has it's moments, but Hope Davis's character is miserable throughout the entire movie and honestly, by the end, you don't really care if she ever does get happy.
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