Hysterical Blindness - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hysterical Blindness Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Super Reviewer
½ December 10, 2007
Great movie by Mira Nair. Seen this before, but couldn't entirely recall the movie. So, I sat down and watched all of it all over again. Here's an interesting movie, solely for the females. This is it. Intriguing story plot. One cannot help but relate to poor Debby. Hilarious! Great cast. A definitely must-see!
February 21, 2009
I came across this movie and thought to myself " Wow, Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands AND it's set in the 80s. I wonder why I haven't seen this. "
Then I sat down to watch it, and it became painfully clear why I haven't seen it. It was bad. The story is three woman, a mother and daughter and her best friend, looking for love in all the wrong places. Staple chick flick story, with nothing to offer the watcher, except boredom.
I have always loved all three of these actresses. I think they are brilliant and beautiful. But this film was an ugly call. They brought nothing to the table and seemed to flail miserably. I did identify with the characters and even found myself feeling bad for them, but the story was so drab, that my compassion soon went out the window. Plus, the ending was horrible. It left nothing tied up and just seemed to stop.
Hysterical Blindness gets one star simply for my respect for these wonderful actresses. It gets another star because I am a sucker for the 80s and I got a kick out of the 80s hair and clothes in this film. That's it.
If I had had some paint to watch dry, it might have been more thrilling then this movie...
½ May 22, 2007
cheesy 80's flick about a chick who cant find happiness and tries in all the wrong ways.. good flick..
February 15, 2007
Pretty decent 80s movie about two thirty year old women who are still stuck in their teen day habits like cruising bars for Mr Right or Mr Right Now. Juliette Lewis is a single mother who cant stop her old partying one -night-stand ways and Uma Thurman is a despertae woman who has never been married, has no kids and still lives with Mom. The good thing here is both actresses play thier roles convincingly and the charactors are real (You probably know people like this). The bad news is neither charactor is sympathetic: Thurman's particularly is such a drip you just cant feel sorry for her. You wanna grab her and scream "Uma! Get a life!"
July 22, 2015
Seeing Uma Thurman play a genuine, sensitive woman is a strange thing for me. Everyone (including myself) knows she's a terrific actress - but as a Tarantino die-hard obsessed with "Kill Bill" (I've legitimately seen "Vol. 1" at least thirty times), I'm hardly used to her portraying a woman capable of carrying on a soul-baring conversation without cutting someone in half with a Hattori Hanz? sword. Perhaps I should see what else she's capable of before I start making assumptions - so I suppose "Hysterical Blindness", an HBO TV-movie for which she won a Golden Globe, is a good place to start.
Thurman is Debby Miller, a thirty-ish, '80s bound, New Jersey bred, lonely heart in the process of sinking into the suppressed life of an old maid. She's desperate for love - she and her best friend, single mom Beth (Juliette Lewis), parade around seedy bars looking for potential suitors like a second job - but as her low self-confidence is more up front than her immense good looks, she turns most men off, finding herself in a plight of one-night-stands instead of meaningful relationships. She's torn between continuing her search for Mr. Right and completely giving up; she still lives with her mother (Gena Rowlands), and still holds onto a low-paying job she most likely got in her early twenties. Eventually, Debby finds a possible mate in Rick (Justin Chambers), a seemingly nice guy she met during one of her late-night escapades.
The hysterical blindness of the title derives from a condition that causes its victim to temporary become visually impaired after a long period of unresolved stress. Debby, so mind-numbingly obsessed with her lack of a love life, experiences the bizarre phenomenon, twice in the film (once in the beginning, to develop her as a neurotic leading lady, and once toward the conclusion, as a dramatic high point that begs her to consider what the hell she's doing with her life).
Directed by Mira Nair, "Hysterical Blindness" is a drama frustrating in its inability to stay earnest throughout its length. Most of the film is moving, well-acted, but Nair, against good judgment, feels the need to include "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" repeatedly in the soundtrack as if to make the impression that we're watching a sappy woman's world drama more spurious than sincere, to render Debby and Beth as stereotypically New Jersey as possible to make their desperation even more desperate. Thurman and Lewis are so broadly drawn that it's a relief that they stir our emotions during their more dramatic scenes - there, the acting school vulgarity disappears and we finally feel like we understand these women.
It's irritating that "Hysterical Blindness" is so regularly prodded by fakery, because, at its realest, most truthful, it momentarily turns into a movie rich in its passion. It's at its best when focusing on the relationship between Virginia (Rowlands) and her new boyfriend, Nick (Ben Gazzara). Both in their sixties, both numbed and used to their discontent, the love they find together is unexpected and exciting; Rowlands and Gazzara, in a mini Cassavetes reunion, are deeply touching. The side-plot makes for a good contrast between that of Debby and Beth - they would do anything to have a meaningful romance, and while they wander around various taverns, Virginia, who has been a waitress the majority of her adult life, simple finds someone by being herself. The scenes between Rowlands and Thurman are palpably wistful, their mother-daughter bond so thick that it's less of a familial pairing and more of a friends-forever partnership that guarantees the other that when the going gets rough, sticking together will hardly be an action in question.
"Hysterical Blindness" is mostly a mixed bag, a sometimes poignant, sometimes obviously calculated comedy-drama that hits home at its best moments but feels like leftovers from an actor's previous vie for an Oscar nomination that didn't quite make it at its worst. But the cast does well with the uneven material, especially Rowlands, making "Hysterical Blindness" decent enough to make even the most cynical of viewers take a look at the world around them and wonder just how many people live to love, throwing their happiness away when they can't quite find it.
½ March 8, 2015
The terrific performances of the acting trio are almost overlooked in this bland and formulaic chick flick about girls unlucky in love. What else?
July 26, 2011
I thought it was quite good. Love the actors all of them and its an all too true account of how young women throw themselves at young men in their insecurity..very tough to watch because the character Uma plays is reminiscent of many vulnerable women without a firm psychological foundation in this day and age due to many reasons, socio-economic, lack of education etc..Good to see the odd movie from a woman's perspective, rather than the usual male view.
May 6, 2011
While it has very little plot or action, it keeps up a good pace, the characters are well mapped out and all the actors do great jobs.
March 16, 2011
just loved this movie, where can i buy it ?
½ February 21, 2011
There's a lot of uncomfortable and cringe-worthy moments in this movie, but it's realistic and interesting and the acting is great.
½ March 2, 2010
Juliette, Uma, and Gena all have the right chemistry to make this little piece a dramatic gem with some humorous twists. Enjoyable from start to finish.
½ September 23, 2009
Uma Thurman does a splendid job at delving into the Psyche of "Deb". She embodied "that girl" that we all know, filled with both hope, hopelessness, and desperation. This movie is honest and upfront, very true to the characters. I really enjoyed this movie.
December 20, 2008
I didn't find the two main characters all that likeable, but the film contains strong performances which make up for the otherwise average script.
May 29, 2008
At the center of this film is a heart that throbs with electric passion. To criticize the characters' apparent desperation is to criticize the nature of human sorrow and longing.
July 10, 2006
Superb film, brilliantly acted by Gena Rowlands and Uma Thurman. Believably done, good feel of the 1980's. A very pleasant surprise. Good score, just a wonderful movie all around.
February 12, 2004
[font=Tahoma]Well, my one brain cell and myself asked the video store just what the hell I rented last week that I couldn't remember.... ironic that it was Hysterical Blindness! Yup, I had it after watching that movie. Thats just so sad...[/font]
[font=Tahoma]A definite chick flick but if you're a die-hard Uma fan you might want to see this. A totally different role for her so I give her alot of credit for doing it. A story about wanting someone in your life so bad that you'd do just about anything even if it meant debasing yourself. Also a story about being burned so bad that you're afraid to love again. Its about realizing how low you are willing to go just to make someone love you and finally realizing that you're better than that. Its about taking a chance on love late in life or when you thought that part of your life was over, and getting all your hopes up only to have it ripped away from you and dealing with the unfairness of it. The movie was somewhat disturbing at times because I can remember the 80's and big hair and cruising bars and seeing how desperate woman could be just because they couldn't live without a man in their lives. It touched a few raw nerves for me but overall you felt sympathetic to the characters. I felt like the film could have been better because it felt quite undone at the end. I wanted a different ending or maybe I just wanted them to be happier with what they had. Either way, like I said, if you're a Uma, Juliette, or Gena Rowlands fan then you will enjoy this movie. It was all fine acting for the time it represents and I felt they all gave it justice and it is a chance to see Uma in a very different role. Enjoy.[/font]
Page 1 of 7