Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1986. TriStar Pictures, Rastar Pictures, Zoetrope Studios, Delphi V Productions. Screenplay by Jerry Leichtling, Arlene Sarner. Cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth. Produced by Paul R. Gurian. Music by John Barry. Production Design by Dean Tavoularis. Costume Design by Theadora Van Runkle. Film Editing by Barry Malkin. Academy Awards 1986. Golden Globe Awards 1986. National Board of Review Awards 1986. New York Film Critics Awards 1986.
Kathleen Turner gives one of the best performances ever committed to film as the title character, a forty-something woman who experiences a fainting spell at her twenty-fifth year high school reunion and dreams she goes back to her teenage days (only this time knowing what she knows from her adult life). She’s given the opportunity to change a few things and appreciate her youth in a new light, and director Francis Ford Coppola injects enough sentiment to make it very touching without ever becoming sappy or contrived. The only possible flaw in the film is that Coppola has cast Joan Allen and Catherine Hicks, who are both near Turner’s age, to play her high school chums, presumably to accommodate the scenes of the high school reunion at the beginning of the film; these are two great actresses and do so well with their roles, but we’re robbed of seeing how odd and funny the comparison is between a grown woman and two high school girls in the flashbacks.