The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Used People" tells the sort of romantic fable we would all like to believe in, but this is not the movie to make us believe in it.
It's about a 60ish widow from Queens (Shirley MacLaine) who is approached on the day of her husband's funeral by a handsome, charming Italian- American (Marcello Mastroianni) who boldly asks her out. Why is he rushing things? Because he has waited a long, long time for her husband to die - ever since that night he met the man in a bar, and persuaded him to return to his wife.
I do not doubt this sort of thing occurs. My guess, though, is that for every time the daring stranger is on the level, there are 10 times when he is being sought by guys with butterfly nets. And if it is not miracle enough that this mysterious stranger holds the key to MacLaine's happiness, he also seems capable of breaking the emotional logjam that has made life miserable for her mother (Jessica Tandy) and her daughters (Kathy Bates and Marcia Gay Hardin).
MacLaine's family has been dysfunctional for years. Her husband, it would appear, led a life of quiet desperation and had a farewell note hidden in an old shoe. Her mother has long been torn between moving to Florida, or stagnating in the old neighborhood. One daughter, played by Bates, lives through a permanent crisis of low self-esteem, caused by being overweight. The other, Hardin, lives in a continual identity crisis, adopting such personae as Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Bonnie Parker.