The Pallbearer

1996

Comedy / Romance

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 45%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 19%
IMDb Rating 4.9 10 7610

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Gwyneth Paltrow as Julie DeMarco
Toni Collette as Cynthia
David Schwimmer as Tom Thompson
Michael Vartan as Scott

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by budikavlan 9 / 10

Delicate soufflé of comedy and melancholy

The tone of this film is really difficult to convey on paper. It manages to successfully capture the elusive appeal that David Schwimmer has from time to time; it's easy for his sad-sack personality to grow annoying and pathetic, but this script managed to walk that line. The scenes of embarrassment and shame never seem overdone or cheap, and serve the story well. I especially like the down-to-earth, realistic beauty that Gwyneth Paltrow always brings to a role; she never seems like a movie star playing a real person. Because of Schwimmer's brief tenure as a star with buzz, this was seen as a box office failure, but it was never the kind of movie likely to rake in huge bucks. For what it is, a small, thoughtful, offbeat romantic comedy, The Pallbearer is a winner.

Reviewed by rpbauer 7 / 10

Often overlooked, but delightful film

Maybe it was the great, eclectic soundtrack with the likes of Django Reinhardt, Herbie Hancock, Perry Como, Curtis Mayfield, Neil Young and Richie Havens, or maybe it was the dark and subtle bits of humor that pleasantly surprised me throughout the movie, but I really enjoyed this one.

We meet Tom, a forlorn twenty-something man-child still living at home and struggling to take control of his life, played by David Schwimmer of "Friends" fame. Tom gets a call from a woman who mistakenly believes he knew her recently deceased son. He goes along with it, presumably to save her the added grief of knowing her son had no close friends. Of course, Tom's accommodating nature backfires and he's asked to give the eulogy for a man he never knew. This sets up a scene with the kind of dark humor seen throughout the movie that audiences are either delighted with or immediately turned off by.

At the funeral, Tom meets Julie, his unrequited high school crush, played with genuine emotion and winsome grace by Gwyneth Paltrow. Thus begins two relationships that play out over the duration of the film --one with Grace, the bereft mother of the friend Tom never had, played by Barbara Hershey, and the other with Julie.

Yes, this movie owes much, in terms of plot and characters, to "The Graduate," with Hershey playing the counterpart to Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson. But it turns out to be much more than just an update of the '60s classic. The audience really gets to know the inner turmoil both Tom and Julie are going through -- Tom, both for the guilt of becoming unwittingly involved with Grace, and for also being involved with Julie at the same time, and Julie, for being torn between striking out on her own to escape her overbearing parents and getting into a deep relationship with Tom.

There are a couple of sideplots going on with Tom's friends -- Michael Rapaport's character getting married to a woman his friends don't like, and Michael Vardan's married character, making a move on Julie, which obviously infuriates Tom. And Carol Kane as Tom's mom, is precious. In one scene, he is livid after she bursts into his room unannounced. After she receives a brief scolding for not knocking, she replies "I only wanted to see if you wanted some ice cream," to which he replies "A little."

Schwimmer nails the role, with his underplayed, tacit sadness about his so-far-failed attempt at making a responsible life for himself. And Paltrow, well, can she ever miss? Whether for the dark humor, spot-on acting, or superb soundtrack, this one is definitely worth a viewing.

Reviewed by rbverhoef 6 / 10

Simple, but nice

The Pallbearer will be compared with The Graduate. A graduate (Tom, played by David Schwimmer), only one year later, has an affair with an older woman. She is the mother of a dead guy named Bill. Tom did not know Bill but the mother thinks he was his best friend. He plays along. The affair starts but Tom is really in love with a younger girl named Julie (Gwyneth Paltrow). So far this is a lot like The Graduate and in my opinion this wasn't a good part of the movie although it had its funny scenes.

The comparison with The Graduate holds on in the main plot-line may be, but The Pallbearer takes a different way in the way it is shown to us. I liked how the movie developed from that moment on. Especially the ending is well-chosen.

David Schwimmer was a better lead than I expected, he wasn't that bad. Most funny scenes were happening because of him. Gwyneth Paltrow was lovely and for me she made sure I liked the movie a little more. It is not very good but it has a couple of good laughs, a nice story and a nice chemistry between Schwimmer and Paltrow.

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