Something to Talk About

1995 Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Starring Julia Roberts, Robert Duvall, Gena Rowlands, Kyra Sedgwick, Dennis Quaid, Haley Aull.

REVIEWED By Alison Macor, Fri., Aug. 4, 1995

In this film by Swedish director Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, What's Eating Gilbert Grape?) , a family is laid bare, warts and all, and made to seem ideal, ugly, weak, and strong all at the same time. Screenwriter Callie (Thelma & Louise). Khouri's dialogue contains some sweet surprises. Just when you think you've got a handle on Grace (Roberts), a young Southern wife estranged from her philandering husband Eddie (Quaid), she utters some line that reveals a little more depth than is at first apparent. Grace spends the movie trying to address her emotions and needs. Battling not only her husband but her domineering, horse-breeding father (expertly played by Duvall), Grace struggles against expectations and years of tradition to pinpoint her own goals. Roberts and Quaid work well together onscreen. The luminous Gena Rowlands, Sedgwick, and Aull round out a well-chosen cast. And the inimitable cinematography of Sven Nykvist captures all of the natural beauty of South Carolina and Georgia. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of this film is its lack of tidy closure. As in life, compromises are reached and battles continue. The characters react to one another with love, anger, subtle manipulation, and generosity. While the film does have its overwrought moments and Southern clichés, Something to Talk About is a pleasant surprise amidst a summer of big hype and little payoff.

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Something to Talk About, Lasse Hallstrom, Julia Roberts, Robert Duvall, Gena Rowlands, Kyra Sedgwick, Dennis Quaid, Haley Aull

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