The Man in the Moon Reviews
(1992) The Man In The Moon
Without submitting a plot I'll just say that this is a TEENAGE ROMANCE and DRAMA, a story that takes place in Louisana during the 50's with no TV and so forth. It is the year of 2010 and is still my favorite Reese Witherspoon film as well as her first film she ever had done. Along with the rest of the cast who is also excellent as well, especially Sam Waterson who plays the father and Jessica Harper playing the mother. The story overall may not be it's highest point but the Southern accents from the lead is what makes this film one of it's strongest qualities containing the best scenerys I had ever seen on a film. Almost every frame of this film is like looking at a painting on a wall.
This is also director Robert Mulligan's final film who solidified his name on the map for directing "To Kill A Mockingbird" back in 1962 starring Gregory Peck.
I just wanted to say that out of many movies I've seen, this has to be one of few I've seen on repeated viewings. And that the review I provided above is only a blatant review for readers who hadn't seen it. One of the reasons I'm drawn to this film so much is that it's situation between the two sisters still happens till this day- they're normally shown on talk shows particularly on Maury Pourvich and Jerry Springer. Anyways, this is my last warning to readers to stop reading since I'm going to summarize this movie from my point of view.
The first thing I'm going to say is that, it was 100% inevitable for Court Foster(Jason London) to die at the end. Had he had not die then we would never have witness the limits of the sisters unbroken relationship with one another, making the point that the entire set up had to happen the way that it did. Court may be the first person Dani (Reese Witherspoon) fell in love with, except that Court prefer to be with someone who is the same age as him, who coincidently happens to be Dani's sister, Maureen (Emily Warfield). I remember reading some reviews written by, I assume were female reviewers, and some had commended the Dani character for forgiving her sister for "stealing' the first boy she fell in love with, except that, what they failed to mention was that had Court chose to continue with this kind of relationship with Dani, he could've been locked up and charged for statutory rape with a minor since Court is 17 years old and Dani is only 14. The reviewers also failed to mention that Court liked Dani only as a friend and swimming partner- there was nothing else. The problem was Dani always seem to forget that Court just wanted to be friends and because of Dani's age, she's incapable to understand that. You know, when viewers are watching a movie, one must not forget what was said earlier, and some viewers seem to forget what was said to describe Dani made by the parents.
Matthew Trant: "She's getting too big to be running around wild as a jack rabbit.
Abigail Trant: It used to be she was too little, and now she's too big. I guess she passed up just right when nobody was lookin'."
And that had Court "met" both Maureen and Dani at the same time, he obviously would have fallen in love with Maureen in an instant, and Dani wouldn't even think too much of it since she was initially angry at him after being kicked out of her secret swimming spot. What ended up happening instead is Dani starting to fall in love for the first time, it was during then she was motivated to doing more chores in the family household which is how girls react since it's a sign of maturity which if she ever get to that age upon being married or looking after your so-called spouse 'chores' (which includes cooking) is an expected occurrence. This shows that girls can mature faster than boys. Director Robert Mulligan constructed this relationship on purpose so that Dani can garner time to fall in love with Court first, before he was able to get a chance to set eyes on Maureen as a 17 year old for the very first time in a long time since the last time they had ever saw each other they were still babies. As I initially saw it, the movie was really about Dani and Maureen's relationship and that the director was asking the question to viewers whether two very respectful sisters who love each other that much, can this bond ever be broken regardless how normal it appears. Had this movie didn't produce this kind of little love conflict about teenagers and first love then this movie wouldn't even be worth watching. We need to see this so that we as people can revaluate our own lives. This was even the first movie that used the term "manhandled" which says to me how men can often treat things in general.
I remember loaning this movie to a guy I know who often fought with his little brother and both are not in speaking terms, but after he saw this movie and told me how much he hated it, it may have contributed to mending the relationship with his brother. It was sometime near the end when the mother, allowed Dani to spend some quality time with the father who goes fishing whenever his wife goes to church. And at that point, he already knows that both Maureen and Dani are not in speaking terms. And while sitting on a boat, he says something along the lines of "And if you get so involved in your own pain that you can't see when someone else is hurting, you might as well crawl into a hole and pull the dirt right in on top of you 'cause you'll never be any good to yourself...or to anyone else." That scene near the end when Dani is alone with her father has to be one of the best scenes in the movie since it says to me that to be that forgiving person again can't always be found in a church. Director Mulligan once tackled 'racism' in To Kill A Mockingbird"- he's also tackled war on "Summer Of 69", well in this subtle instance of The Man In The Moon", he's tackling religion. Making the point that the church does not have all the answers to all of it's questions. When you listen to sermons quoted from pastors and priests they're preaching not just one person but to many people without having to understand whether or not you consist to have any of these problems or not. Dani's father, Mathew(Sam Waterson) personifies that you can still be wise, respected, moral and ethical without succumbing to any religion whatsoever. I mean, the thing is some of these pastors and priests don't even follow what they're preaching. If you've seen and watch the news as much as I have, "some" pastors and priests had committed adultery and murder.