Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1996. Miramax, The Chess Club. Screenplay by Jason Katims, Matt Reeves. Cinematography by Robert Elswit. Produced by J.J. Abrams, Paul Webster. Music by Stewart Copeland. Production Design by Robin Standefer. Costume Design by Donna Zakowska. Film Editing by Stan Salfas.
David Schwimmer plays a lazy dope who finds out from surprise visitor Barbara Hershey that his best friend from high school, and her son, has recently died. She tells him that it was one of her son’s last requests that he be a pallbearer at his funeral and possible deliver a eulogy as well. The trouble is, Schwimmer has absolutely no idea who it is that she’s saying he was once friends with. This mild-mannered romantic comedy features a Graduate-style romance between awkwardly young Schwimmer and seasoned Hershey (in some impressively brassy blonde hair), before he meets the girlfriend of the deceased (Gwyneth Paltrow) and falls in love with her. The film’s best moments are when Schwimmer is hanging around with his ensemble of friends, including excellent performances by Michael Vartan and Toni Collette.