Final Analysis

1992, R, 124 min. Directed by Phil Joanou. Starring Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman, Paul Guilfoyle, Keith David, Eric Roberts.

REVIEWED By Kathleen Maher, Fri., Feb. 14, 1992

If looks were everything, this one would have it all: Gere and Basinger as illicit lovers, Roberts as her gangster husband, Thurman as her sister and his patient and Dean Tavoularis as the production designer. But your mother was right. Looks aren't everything, honey. Joanou, with his puppy dog devotion to noir thrillers and Hitchcock, is hoping to get it all right by painting by the numbers. He's mixed parts of Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, and Vertigo, but the result doesn't even live up to Dead Again, Branagh's flawed movie that mined the same veins of our collective movie consciousness with much more success.Final Analysis comes much closer to Fatal Attraction in its neurotic fear of women. Today, the femme fatale has given way to the nutso freako; she slinks in, has a drink, and the next thing you know she's making animal noises and climbing on the furniture. In this particular case study, Richard Gere doesn't seem like much of a psychiatrist. He has one sister, Thurman, on the couch hiding big secrets and saying, “you really should meet my sister” and the sister appearing to make big eyes at him. Could this be a setup? That Basinger and Gere are going to wind up in bed is no secret, but their courtship is excruciating, full of why-are-they-whispering scenes. At least Basinger gets better as she gets going, but Gere reverts to that shell-shocked acting style he adopts when lost at sea. He can not be blamed. Not only are all the characters unredeemable, but it's impossible to figure out whether his easily hoodwinked shrink is a victim or the most manipulative player of them all. In its conclusions, this movie is so cynical, so evil, that it would inspire despair were it not so incompetent. The plot twists and turns on itself endlessly and incriminates everyone. It's as if the filmmakers are trying to incorporate all the plot details from all the classics they so obviously love. But love isn't enough either. You gotta have brains, baby, and a heart and soul would be nice.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Phil Joanou Films
Gridiron Gang
The Rock's moral football tale is a pleasant surprise: a swift, sure-footed, and gritty melodrama that plays to the strengths of its formula and elicits empathy for its kids.

Marrit Ingman, Sept. 15, 2006

More by Kathleen Maher
Singles
Love in the Nineties: no drugs and the sex is scary. Actually, Cameron Crowe documents the habits of a generation that adapted.

Sept. 25, 1992

Incident at Oglala
British filmmaker Apted makes a carefully reasoned, yet passionate statement about the legal system that has ensnared American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier.

July 10, 1992

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Final Analysis, Phil Joanou, Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman, Paul Guilfoyle, Keith David, Eric Roberts

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle