Mr. Jones

1993 Directed by Mike Figgis. Starring Richard Gere, Lena Olin, Anne Bancroft, Tom Irwin, Delroy Lindo, Lauren Tom, Bruce Altman, Lisa Malkiewicz.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 15, 1993

You can tell, from the very beginning, that this is a film that was made with very high hopes and noble aspirations. Cut from two very different bolts of Hollywood cloth -- the love story and the story of madness -- the film valiantly struggles to weave these disparate elements together into a cohesive, moving whole, and unfortunately falls far short of the mark, ending up as a contrived, wholly mercenary debacle cut through with just the sort of painful melodrama the cast and crew tried so obviously to avoid. Gere is the mysterious Mr. Jones, a high-flying manic depressive who comes into the care of therapist Libbie Bowen (Olin) when he tries to “fly” off the roof of a construction site he's been working on. Gere's manic character is irrepressible, running up to women he's never met and kissing them full on the lips, spending money like water, tipping $100 bills, running, jumping, singing, dancing. Bowen, troubled herself by a recent romantic failure (of which we catch only the briefest of glimpses), knows full well that Mr. Jones is past due for a depressive crash, and in the course of her therapy with him, she somehow crosses that extremely thin line between caring for a patient and loving one. This, then, is where the film itself crashes, pulling out all the patented Hollywood stops and trying, very hard indeed, to get the audience to weep along with its tear-stained characters. It doesn't work, not the least reason being the odd perception (on the audience's part) that this film has been fiddled with and fiddled with until the post-production tinkerings are as glaringly obvious as the poorly camouflaged plot holes. Gere is excellent as this disturbed fellow; his twitches and too-happy smile are right on the money, but this only serves to illuminate the ramshackle state of the rest of the film, which is a shame: good, honest films dealing with mental illness are exceedingly few and far between. This, however, is not one of them.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 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 Mike Figgis Films
Cold Creek Manor
Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone are home alone in a haunted house in this film that was not screened before press time.

Marc Savlov, Sept. 26, 2003

Time Code
An audacious experiment that, like last year's indie upstart The Blair Witch Project, may very well threaten the established rules of Hollywood filmmaking, Mike Figgis' ...

Marc Savlov, May 12, 2000

More by Marc Savlov
Duty Free
Around the world in 77 years in this tale of new ambition in old age

May 7, 2021

The Outside Story
After a year trapped inside, a welcome comedic reminder of life in fresh air

April 30, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Mr. Jones, Mike Figgis, Richard Gere, Lena Olin, Anne Bancroft, Tom Irwin, Delroy Lindo, Lauren Tom, Bruce Altman, Lisa Malkiewicz

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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