California Suite - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

California Suite Reviews

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June 8, 2016
Jane Fonda is excellent and Maggie Smith is hilarious but the Walter Matthau and Cosby/Pryor storylines are just silly and seem totally out of place.
May 28, 2016
This comedy-drama with an all-star cast wasn't as good as I'd hoped it be. Considering the talent involved, I thought it's be a lot better. I did like Walter Matthau, Michael Caine and Maggie Smith though. Smith plays an actress attending the Oscars as a nominee, and in a funny twist, she Won an in Oscar in real-life for the role. Check it out only if you're a big fan of any of the cast, which also includes, Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda and Alan Alda.
January 30, 2016
I loved the hilarious dialogue and thought this movie was very amusing, engaging and creative.
October 5, 2015
Has a very witty and enjoyable script with a fine cast to bring it to life.
April 8, 2015
A delightful ensemble comedy written by the amazing Neil Simon. This is one of Simon's best works. Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Maggie Smith, Michael Caine, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Walter Matthau, and Eliane May are exceptionally hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking depending on the storyline. I loved this movie so much I will watch it over and over for years to come
July 28, 2013
An all star cast makes up this romp of a comedy. But The relationship focus of four different stories overlapping over Oscar weekend in LA also has scenarios that hit very close to home. For instance Fonda and her family are trying to reconcile divorce, Matthau is caught cheating, Cosby is conflicting with prior over a couple's vacation and smith and Caine try to come to terms with their marriage. These are all real life scenarios that can be funny, but the truthful aspect of it makes it memorable.
May 23, 2013
The only times this movie is Any Good is when they play the Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor story and also Walter Matthau's plot
½ June 19, 2012
Funny at times--A mixed bag!!
½ March 14, 2012
so so emsamble cast makes some parts of this work and others wok
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2012
Neil Simon don't do a very good work, like another films written by he. The first hour, California Suite is nothing poignant. After, the movie get better, but the audience in that point don't want continue to watch.
December 17, 2011
The movie is split into 4 stories. The Jane Fonda, Alan Alda skit has a few good lines but it feels scripted, tries to go for drama and fails miserably. Then you get a random scene of Fonda in a bikini, not complaining but it didn't work. Walter Matthau once again carries bad material and makes it gold just with body language and his voice. The Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor skit is horrendous, terrible physical comedy. But the reason to see this is for Maggie Smith and Michael Caine. The verbal jousting match between them is hall of fame stuff. I was absolutely dying. In the last few minutes they try for drama and it doesn't work but dammit they had me rolling.
July 18, 2011
Uneven, but No One Agrees What to Remove

The problem, of course, with "something for everyone" stories is that most people then dislike at least part of it. All of them. I do not care for the segment with Walter Matthau, but someone over on IMDB says it's the best part. I was intrigued by the segment with Jane Fonda and Alan Alda, despite the fact that I just don't like Jane Fonda all that much, and someone else thought it should be taken out of the picture entirely. What's worse in this movie is that even some of the bits I initially liked are uneven in style and quality. The story with Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor got broader and broader until it was pure slapstick, and not even very good slapstick. I think only one of the stories comes close to holding up through the entire movie, and it's a near thing in places. Doubtless someone else out there hated it, though. So it goes.

Four groups of people are checking into the Beverly Hills Hotel. Hannah Warren (Fonda) is there only for one night. She is meeting her husband, Billy (Alda), in the hopes of convincing their daughter, Jennie (Dana Plato), to go back to New York with her. Diana Barrie (Dame Maggie Smith) is also there for one night with her husband, Sidney Cochran (Sir Michael Caine). She is up for a Best Actress Oscar. Marvin Michaels (Matthau) is in town for his nephew's Bar Mitzvah; said brother, Harry (Herb Edelman), has ordered him a prostitute, Bunny (Denise Galik). But Marvin's wife, Millie (Elaine May), is due in town the next day. And finally, there are visiting doctors from Chicago. Chauncey (Richard Pryor) and Lola (Gloria Gifford) Gump and Willis (Bill Cosby) and Bettina (Sheila Frazier) Panama are taking a long-planned driving trip across the country, though nothing is quite following said plan. Then again, no one's plan is quite working out.

I find Michael Caine's character particularly interesting. How exactly he and his wife met is left up in the air, given that he's an antique dealer. However, it is made plain that she knew long ago that he's bisexual, and that her problem with that is more to do with fidelity than anything else. You see, she'd really like it if he'd show some. I think she would have been just as angry if he were a womanizer. It's hardly an original idea to have an emotionally needy actress, and it certainly isn't doing good things to her marriage. She wants to be loved and admired. Indeed, Dame Maggie became the only person ever to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar nominee by doing such an outstanding job at the brittle, drunken Diana. (Beating Meryl Streep!) And her husband does love her, in his fashion--more than any woman he's ever loved. How much he's loved men doesn't enter into it, and they're happier that way.

To give a bit of a spoiler here, the bit with the Michaels clan would have been a bit funnier if I hadn't been quite so sure that Bunny was actually dead. Yeah, I'm sure Marvin would have said something if he couldn't find a pulse, but still. She doesn't move or make noise. At all. And I'll admit I've never much dealt with anyone who had passed out, but it still felt off. A moan here or there. Something. Even then, I think it would have been the weakest of the four, but it wouldn't have actively made my flesh crawl. Which it did. It's true that the bits with Pryor and Cosby go from amusing bickering to tedious slapstick, but Matthau doesn't even start with amusing bickering. I'm not a big Neil Simon fan, and the Matthau sequence includes pretty much everything I dislike about his work. I can't help agreeing with Millie that what Marvin does is pretty low--and "I don't think it's that bad" only makes it worse.

I was explaining to Graham a while ago why my family never went camping when I was a kid. (Short answer--would you want to go camping alone with three children under ten?) And Graham declared it was because there's nowhere to camp in California. This, of course, is ludicrous; [i]Yosemite[/i] is in California. But you get names like [i]California Suite[/i], even though the movie probably takes place exclusively in Los Angeles County. (I'm not a hundred percent certain where the first bit with the doctors takes place; there are a lot of interchanges like that in Southern California.) However, this is the part of California people think of, even though there are even several big cities hundreds of miles away. (San Francisco, for example, which is some three hundred fifty miles north.) And it's Beverly Hills, too, which is a tiny part of Los Angeles. There's no camping here, and there are Oscar nominees in the hotels. But we all know that's not really what most of the state looks like, right?
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2011
Good movie, GREAT cast
½ March 15, 2011
Four connected stories of guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel: two great character pieces, one Cosby rerun, and one unwatchable mess. Uneven.
March 6, 2011
Entertaining Neil Simon adaptation offers some nice smart, funny, and heartfelt moments. Some storylines are more effective than others, but it works in a large part to the excellent cast, with Maggie Smith and Jane Fonda as dramatic standouts, and some solid laughs from the always fun Walter Matthau.
March 1, 2011
A mixed bag of farce and melodrama in four scenes. Walter Matthau and Elaine May are hilarious in their segment, but Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby are dreary in theirs. The other two bits fall somewhere in the middle.
½ January 13, 2011
This film is full of very well known and respected actors. And the one that stood out for me was Maggie Smith, and after watching it i found out she won an Oscar for her role. What is ironic is that she's playing an actress that loses at the Academy Awards, but then wins one for this role. And this is probably the weakest film i've seen to have an Oscar success. It follows 4 couples staying in this hotel, but i feel somehow they should have interacted somewhere, and it seemed a bit unbalanced having four different stories on their own. This film is a comedy, but not with many laughs, and the slapstick just seemed out of place with the flow of this film. The best scenes were with Michael Caine and Maggie Smith, the dialogue was great, and they played off each other really well. Both of them were very appealing to watch as well as engaging, and their scenes made the others look very weak. So for an all star cast, this was a bit of a dissapointment. But not a terrible film, it is watchable.
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