Strapless (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Strapless (1989)

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As she enters middle age, expatriate American M.D. Lillian Hempel (Blair Brown) ends a long-term relationship with her actor boyfriend and embarks on a tour of European churches. After a chance encounter with charming businessman Raymond Forbes (Bruno Ganz), Lillian finds herself tempted to abandon her usually meticulous approach to romance. Fear wells up, though, and she heads back to London, where her job as a National Health physician awaits. Returning to her flat, Lillian finds Amy (Bridget Fonda), her peripatetic younger sister, who is visiting London, partying hard, and dabbling in the fashion world. Amy seems to be everything Lillian isn't: impulsive, irresponsible, and devoid of vocation. Back at work, Lillian finds herself drawn into the plight of a young man with terminal cancer, her emotional investment leading her to consider taking a stand against the toll Thatcherism is taking on Britain's health care system. Into this already complicated life comes Raymond, who has tracked Lillian to London, determined to woo and even marry her. Against her better judgment, Lillian acquiesces a bit at a time -- until a fierce row with Amy sends her spinning even faster into Raymond's alluring orbit. When Raymond disappears as mysteriously as he arrived, however, Lillian must come to terms with the choices she has made. Strapless was filmed between seasons of The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Brown's cult-favorite TV series; fans of the show will notice that Molly Dodd is closer in temperament to Fonda's character in Strapless than to Brown's.

Cast

Blair Brown
as Dr. Lillian Hempel
Bruno Ganz
as Raymond Forbes
Bridget Fonda
as Amy Hempel
Alan Howard
as Mr. Cooper
Michael Gough
as Douglas Brodie
Suzanne Burden
as Romaine Salmon
Camille Coduri
as Mrs. Clark
Gary O'Brien
as Mr. Clark
Ann Firbank
as Daphne Brodie
Rohan McCullough
as Annie Rice
Joe Hare
as Richard Forbes
Gedren Heller
as Madeleine
Dana Gillespie
as Julie Kovago
Helen Lindsay
as Neighbour
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Critic Reviews for Strapless

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

More complex and surprising than it looks.

September 1, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

continues Hare's salute to fascinating, challenging women. ...The situations will ring true to anyone who has ever placed their faith in the wrong person or wrote off someone who later made a surprising comeback.

August 5, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Revolves around an American doctor's midlife crisis and her conflicted views of love and work.

September 1, 2002 | Full Review…

Every exchange between characters is loaded with significance, but little of it comes out because it is all so labored.

February 27, 2001 | Rating: 2.5/4

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