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Overall Rating
3.97

Awesome: 30.23%
Worth A Look40.7%
Just Average: 25.58%
Pretty Crappy: 2.33%
Sucks: 1.16%

9 reviews, 32 user ratings


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Pieces of April
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Elaine Perrone

"A Jumble of Pieces."
3 stars

Although feeling a bit like Hard Hearted Hannah, I nonetheless came away from Pieces of April puzzling over all the accolades it has gotten, my own reaction being I'd seen a cute little movie that never really rises much above the level of an Afterschool Special.

Granted, there are some nice performances, notably those of Patricia Clarkson and Oliver Platt as April's estranged parents, and the charming Derek Luke as her African-American boyfriend. Clarkson, particularly, does a lovely, nuanced turn as a woman dying of breast cancer, angry at the world and at the daughter with whom she's been at lifelong odds, frightened of her own mortality and willing to give one last shot at a reconciliation with her black-sheep daughter.

Too, there are some funny scenes involving the preparation of a Thanksgiving feast. (Is anyone REALLY that inept in the kitchen?) Worth the price of admission is watching April (Katy Holmes) and Bobby (Luke) concoct a turkey stuffing that has to be seen to be believed.

Still, there are too many elements that don't work. Sean Hayes's character is a cliche (and an insulting one, at that) of the same ol' same ol' gay stereotype we have seen a gazillion times. Likewise, Alice Drummond is relegated to a superfluous role as Clarkson's mother, stricken with Alzheimer's, who is scrunched into the back seat of a car (and this movie) for no discernible reason. To top it off, they have named her character "Dotty," for God's sake.

A subplot involving Bobby on a secret errand is simply intrusive and annoying. I would have been much happier with him more involved in the Thanksgiving prep.

At the heart of the conundrum is April herself. As played by Katy Holmes, she is sweet and disarming, a bit of a rebel but hardly to the degree that would cause such discord between mother and child.

My original, dismissive capsule of Pieces was a one-sentence "One step above being Afterschool Special material." After having given it more thought, and adding additional comments...the bottom line is pretty much the same.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6954&reviewer=376
originally posted: 07/20/04 19:48:41
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This film is available for download or online viewing at CinemaNow.com For more in the CinemaNow.com series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

5/23/08 PAUL SHORTT WHOLESOME FILM, OF LOVE IN SPITE OF OUR FAILURES, GRUDGES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS 3 stars
12/27/07 Tiffany Losco I found it boring and stupid. Wasted time watching it. 1 stars
9/10/06 claudine chamaa very sensitive and touching 4 stars
7/01/06 Graham Mason Boring and not at all funny 2 stars
1/28/06 sweetgrrl1972 I saw it on TV and was surprised to find I didn't want to change the channel once. 4 stars
12/26/04 mjoc This is a truly funny, heartwarming, and wonderful holiday film! 5 stars
11/21/04 Phil M. Aficionado Pulls you along at the right pace, alternatively humoring & crushing, Terrific cast/script 5 stars
6/30/04 Mikey Crunt Katie Holmes or Katie Crunt - You decide!! Good film, sloppy ending! 4 stars
6/18/04 Denise Duspiva th e family is a little odd but the idea is sweet 4 stars
4/12/04 joannetc i loved this movie (i think it was supposed to look brownish to suit the digital format) 5 stars
4/07/04 Andrew b pieces of april :( but also :) 5 stars
3/24/04 Margie very touching. i was pleasantly surprised by katie holmes. 4 stars
3/14/04 Elena It's amazing how much you care about the whole family when the story is so simple. So good. 5 stars
3/09/04 Joan Papuzynski I thought it was outstanding and very emotional 5 stars
3/09/04 Jose felix It was simple yet, remarkable!! 5 stars
2/27/04 carla pritchett Pieces of April is a very pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it tremendously. 5 stars
2/25/04 Cindy Ames Possibly the surprise sleeper of the year -- see it! 5 stars
2/25/04 Julia Cox A not laugh-out-loud but subtly hilarious comedy. 5 stars
1/14/04 Betty White Clarkson and Platt are wonderful in this rather average comedy. 3 stars
12/28/03 y2mckay decent performances from supporting cast, a tad overwrought, but not with sappy overkill 3 stars
11/16/03 Lilian Tomaran I think the movie was wonderful! Wonderful preformance by Patty. Hope she wins an oscar 5 stars
10/22/03 Lucy great movie! It was amazing and my friend was in it -she's the little girl in the bathroom 5 stars
10/15/03 Carmelita Florine brilliant film,although Katie Holmes certainly did not do justice to April.offwithherhead!! 3 stars
10/15/03 Meme R. Outstanding 5 stars
10/01/03 Bill Cumberson Fantastic Film 5 stars
9/29/03 Clare Evans The best movie I have seen in a long time 5 stars
9/15/03 Beth Hinton I thought it was okay, at best... 2 stars
9/14/03 Rachel Pradilla Katie Holmes was great and the little girl in the bathroom really affected me 5 stars
3/09/03 "Toots" Suite Terrific movie 5 stars
3/02/03 Elizabeth Douglass It was awsome! I loved it!! 5 stars
2/04/03 Danny Howes Katie Holmes is awesome 5 stars
2/04/03 Jean-Claude Laurent Katie Holmes is awesome 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Oct-2003 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-Feb-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  04-Mar-2004


Directed by
  Peter Hedges

Written by
  Peter Hedges

Cast
  Katie Holmes
  Oliver Platt
  Patricia Clarkson
  Derek Luke
  Alison Pill
  Sean Hayes



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