Normal Life (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Normal Life (1996)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A seemingly ordinary couple jump the tracks into disaster in this drama based on a true story. Chris Anderson (Luke Perry) is a straight-arrow cop who meets Pam (Ashley Judd) after she's hurt in a barroom fight. He asks her to dance after helping to stop her bleeding, and it's love at first sight. While Chris plays by the rules, Pam likes to drink, smoke dope, spend money, and cause trouble, and while he wants to make her happy, her emotional instability makes this no easy task. After Chris is fired and takes a job as a security guard, he can no longer pay the bills that Pam is ringing up. He uses his knowledge of security systems to rob banks, and he discovers that he's good at it. Pam eventually finds out about Chris' sideline; the prospect of danger excites her sexually, and she insists on joining in for future robberies, goading him into a crime spree that leads to tragedy. While Normal Life was planned as a theatrical release, the film debuted on premium cable after disputes between the studio and director John McNaughton; despite this, the film earned positive reviews and a cult following.
Rating:
R (adult situations/language)
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
New Line Home Entertainment

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Cast

Ashley Judd
as Pam Anderson
Luke Perry
as Chris Anderson
Bruce A. Young
as Agent Parker
Jim True-Frost
as Mike Anderson
Penelope Milford
as Adele Anderson
Tom Towles
as Frank Anderson
Kate Walsh
as Cindy Anderson
Gregory Scott Cummins
as Hank Chilton
Bryan McCann
as Justice of the Peace
Edmund Wyson
as Darren
Brian McCann
as Justice of the Peace
Kevin Hurley
as Norman
Brian Blondell
as Toy Store Clerk
Grady Hutt
as Jeremy Anderson
Jonathan Lavan
as Funeral Director
Diane Dorsey
as Head Teller
Jennifer Chada
as FBI Technician
Tony Fitzpatrick
as New House Neighbor
Tony Mockus Jr.
as FBI Agent
Letitia Hicks
as Woman Customer
Eric Young
as Chris's Lawyer
Carlton Miller
as Prosecutor
Fred Stone
as Judge
Rich Wilkie
as Markey
Stacy Logan
as Becker
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Critic Reviews for Normal Life

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

The most confrontational and most inclusive work of McNaughton's career

Full Review… | April 17, 2005
Film Freak Central

Perry gives a confronting, eerie performance

March 23, 2005
Moviehole

recommended only for fans of Judd -- and I think you know exactly what I'm talking about.

February 16, 2005
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Normal Life

"Normal Life" hasn't quite been able to translate its raw elements into fully formed drama. A thoughtful attempt to analyze a failed aspect of the American Dream, this fiction is highlighted by a compelling, even brazen performance by Ashley Judd as a woman beyond her own or anyone else's control.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

This somewhat "obscure" movie is one of my favorites of all time. Ashley Judd delivers nothing less than perfection in her role as Pam, a psychologically disturbed young woman who can't and won't "settle down," and Luke Perry keeps up with her in his role as Chris, the ever-devoted loyal family man and by-the-book cop. Chris tries futilely to tame Pam, finally giving in her to her whims, only to end up doing the unthinkable. This film is tragic but beautiful, and will not leave you bored. A thrill ride from start to finish. A must-see that most have not seen, unfortunately.

Tigress .
Tigress .
½

Who, besides Sharon Stone, plays an emotionally disturbed woman better than Ashley Judd? No one, and this movie proves that. A strong 2/3 makes up for a muddled last act.

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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