Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. United Kingdom/Canada/USA, 1984. Woodfall Film Productions, Filmline Productions, Producers Circle. Screenplay by Tony Richardson, based on the novel by John Irving. Cinematography by David Watkin. Produced by Neil Hartley, Pieter Kroonenburg, David J. Patterson. Production Design by Jocelyn Herbert. Costume Design by Jocelyn Herbert. Film Editing by Robert K. Lambert.
Further proof, after The World According To Garp, that John Irving is difficult to translate to the big screen. This terribly pointless film is about a family who live in and run the titular establishment, headed by father Beau Bridges and mom Lisa Banes. They believe in liberal parenting which results in free-spirited daughter Jodie Foster and her puberty-pained brother (Rob Lowe), who is madly in love with her, and their youngest sister (Jennifer Dundas), who has a fate all of her own. Nastassja Kinski is lovely as a family friend who is only comfortable in a bear costume, but for the most part the film’s characters are flat and the narrative aimless. Irving’s plot is followed quite faithfully, but the spirit of the story is left on the page.