In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_abuse

Abuse of Weakness

An examination of power, greed, emotional manipulation and simple need that is gripping and powerful to behold even if you don't know the story behind…

Thumb_expendables_three_ver18

The Expendables 3

If you’re over 40, this is your “The Avengers.” As slavishly devoted to the old action films of Sly and company as any Marvel Universe…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Blog Archives

Reviews

Lost and Found

  |  

This movie is terrible. It's awful. It's inconceivable to me that the same people who made "A Touch of Class" had anything to do with it, but they did: "Lost and Found" was written and directed by Melvin Frank, and it stars Glenda Jackson and George Segal, and it is nevertheless a woeful mess.

It is not, however, a sequel: Jackson and Segal play different characters this time. He's an English professor going for tenure. She's a British secretary recently divorced from an Italian movie tycoon. They Meet Cute.

You recall, of course, the concept of a Meet Cute from Tuesday's review of "The Main Event." That's when boy meets girl in a cute way. The Meet Cute in "Lost and Found" has Jackson and Segal running their cars into each other in Switzerland. Once recovered, they Meet Cute again when they run into each other while on skis. Eventually, I guess, they fall in love.

I say "I guess" because the actual falling in love stuff is offscreen. They argue, they bicker, and then there's a SemiObligatory Lyrical Interlude in which they toboggan and throw snowballs, etc., yawn, and then they get married and start fighting again. One of the movie's basic mysteries is why these two people like each other: We certainly don't like them.

Glenda Jackson, who can be so appealing, is made to play one of the most unpleasant, bitchy, brittle screen women in a long time. Segal occasionally turns on his famous charm and that puppy-dog grin, but he doesn't turn them on her, he aims at the sky. Maybe he's trying to make friends with Skylab.

So. We don't like the characters. We don't know why they like each other. The movie might possibly have survived such handicaps if it did not, in addition, insult our intelligence. It is apparently intended as a semi-realistic portrait of life, and yet how to explain Segal's suicide scene?

He gets drunk and tries to fake a suicide by running the car in the garage but propping the windows open. Jackson sees it's a ruse and packs for the airport. A cat jumps in one garage window and out the other, knocking out the props. Sure. You bet. Jackson takes a cab to the airport, belatedly realizes the garage windows were shut, races back to the house, tries mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for 10 seconds, and Segal's breathing again. Oh yeah? After an hour in the garage?

The movie has one good moment, a dinner party in honor of a visiting film critic named John Schuster (read, of course, Simon). He makes a Teutonic pedant of himself while praising a movie, and Jackson responds by telling the real story of the movie and its director.

She is obviously describing the making of Antonioni's "Blow-Up," with acid sarcasm, and the scene has the kind of edge that most of "A Touch of Class" had. But how did everything else go so wrong? Why did the characters have to be so totally unappealing? "The Main Event" is no masterpiece, as carefully noted on Tuesday, but at least the people in it were allowed to like one another.

Popular Blog Posts

Different rules apply

White privilege, lived.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Ferguson, Missouri: Third World America vs. Atlas Shrugged

An FFC looks at the horrible situation in Ferguson, MO and what it says about where we are and where we're going.

Retrieving the Grail: Robin Williams and "The Fisher King"

An examination and appreciation of one of Robin Williams' greatest films, "The Fisher King."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus