Hemingway's Garden of Eden Reviews
Garden of Eden confuses me. I haven't read the novel, but after the film, I want to. From what I can tell from the film, it seems like a first draft -- ideas that Papa plays with but hasn't developed into real characters yet. As Catherine transforms herself and her husband into carbon copies and as Catherine expresses her sexual obsession with Marita, it seems like Hemingway is exploring the slippery nature of sexuality -- how one can experiment with one's sexual identity. But what Hemingway specifically says about this concept remains unclear.
It's doubtless that the story David writes -- told in flashbacks starring Matthew Modine -- is a mess. It's Hemingway's fantasies about manhood expressed through hunting and domination over nature. But this story has little to do with the frame story and doesn't give us any significant insight into David's character.
Overall, I wonder if the novel is this incomplete because although the film has the beginnings of some interesting additions to Hem's oeuvre, it ultimately doesn't amount to much.
Not as sexy or provocative as one would hope. This is a strange but ultimately unmemorable film.