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Awesome: 25.58%
Worth A Look39.53%
Just Average: 17.44%
Pretty Crappy: 5.81%
Sucks: 11.63%

8 reviews, 38 user ratings

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Broken Flowers
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by Chris Wilson

"It’s like a floral arrangement of low-key laughs!"
3 stars

Do you like movies with super happy endings where everything comes together all nice and tidy? Do you like over the top, sophomoric comedy? Have you been waiting all your life for Bill Murray to do another movie like Caddy Shack? Then don’t bother seeing Broken Flowers. Not only will you be disappointed, you just might spontaneously combust from frustration. For the rest of you, let’s continue.

In Broken Flowers, out now on DVD, Don Johnston (Murray) is a past-his-prime ladies man who has just been left by his latest girlfriend. To further confuse things, he receives an unsigned letter claiming that he fathered a son nearly 20 years earlier. Don’s amateur sleuth neighbor (the incredible Jeffrey Wright) convinces Don to go out and track down the women he had been with around that time and look for clues pointing to which one is the anonymous letter writer and presumably the mother of his child. Don less than willingly agrees and begins a road trip through his past relationships.

This plot setup could very well be used as an Adam Sandler mid-life crisis movie. Sandler’s character would head out on the road and gut busting, mindless hilarity would ensue. In the end, we might even get an easily digestible lesson on monogamy or what it means to find true love. Wouldn’t that be great? Like a Frank Capra movie starring Jim Carrey! Actually, I enjoyed The Majestic…And I digress.

Broken Flowers is not that movie. It has plenty of humor, though it’s very subtle and situational. There are few sight gags and they all serve characterizing purposes. Instead, the film takes a close look at what it means to move on and what it means to live a stagnant life. The film doesn’t feed easy answers but instead leaves almost everything up to the viewers’ interpretation. The performances are equally subtle and at times I actually failed to recognize certain actors (Sharon Stone, Chloe Sevigny) as they had buried themselves so deeply in their roles.

With that said, one viewer’s subtle is another one’s lethargic. The pacing is slow and not always deliberate. If Murray’s other subtle movie, Lost in Translation, didn’t hold your attention then don’t expect Broken Flowers to be any different. This one doesn’t even have a drunk karaoke scene. Or Scarlett Johansson… And I digress again.

Like Lost in Translation, Broken Flowers seems made to be watched on a lazy, lonely afternoon. It won’t appeal to most movie goers but for those who relish understated humor and the performances that go along with it, writer / director Jim Jarmusch’s film should be an enjoyable experience. For everyone else, let’s keep our hopes up for that Adam Sandler mid-life crisis movie!

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=12682&reviewer=400
originally posted: 01/11/06 23:52:30
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User Comments

1/16/08 Bitchflaps Glacial and sedate. Jarmusch once again proves to be a mere shadow of his former talents. 2 stars
1/02/08 Cinesnob Interesting film--but Bill Murray as a great lover? Come on! 3 stars
6/01/07 ES There's really nothing to this movie, it's completely forgettable and devoid of interest 2 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold Not as mindblowing as Lost in Translation and Man Who Knew Too Little, but still a great. 5 stars
12/20/06 David Pollastrini The Lolita chick was hot! 3 stars
9/07/06 Thomas Semesky I expected better. 3 stars
8/22/06 Larry Bryant Murray is outstanding, as usual, and loved the supporting cast (although most only came)oI. 4 stars
7/12/06 Marty i really liked Lost in Translation but this one was eh 3 stars
5/29/06 Marce Interesting... 4 stars
5/10/06 millersxing Jeffrey Wright is the best of a stellar ensemble . Jarmusch provokes viewer reflection. 4 stars
4/03/06 Sammie Read great movie! 5 stars
3/20/06 Jen Dull; unfinished; utterly and completely boring. What a waste. 1 stars
3/06/06 Annie G Another movie where Bill Murray seems catatonic ... is that the only way he can act now? 3 stars
2/19/06 Indrid Cold Leads to a satisfyingly ambiguous and meloncholy ending, but pretty darn boring throughout. 3 stars
1/18/06 Elza Hudson BORING, DREADFUL, CRAP! 1 stars
1/17/06 greensweater yawnfest - DVD seemed to be missing a scene at the end :) 2 stars
1/17/06 Sam Boring beyond BELIEF! Bill, try making a facial expression, or are you on Quaaludes? 1 stars
1/15/06 Perry Mason Murray is awesome. All the actresses are awesome. The ending rocks. Yeah it's awesome. 5 stars
11/21/05 Kurtis J. Beard Very good film. Murray is a revalation. 4 stars
10/23/05 Stan Arnold One of the worst films I've ever seen 1 stars
10/20/05 Morten damn why dont they warn people about the ending, (the ending makes the movie worthless) 1 stars
9/06/05 Betty Davis I was most disappointed...the naked teenager was very distasteful. Also, no real ending. 1 stars
8/29/05 lillian needed more emotion incertain areaa 4 stars
8/28/05 jcjs ok, nothing compared to 'lost in translation'...dead pan Murray, slow 'pastizing' 4 stars
8/27/05 malcolm insightful. murray has come a long way. a boneheaded mission though. 3 stars
8/27/05 Caiphn Not for everyone. 3 stars
8/26/05 Maalstrom Interesting story that doesn't finish but the movie is all about character. Rather Moving. 4 stars
8/25/05 Likaswisi Jean Tender, intellectual and funny. Great performances- Wright steals the show. 4 stars
8/25/05 Mike If the main character doesn't care about his past, why should we? A total farce. 1 stars
8/22/05 Kathy So bad that when it was over strangers talked to each other about how bad it was. 1 stars
8/20/05 Don Phillips 30 minutes of shots of Murray driving a car or sitting on a plane. Rest is no good! 1 stars
8/16/05 Kathy Watson Waste of 1 hr 45 min...the audience was very disappointed!! 2 stars
8/15/05 Jim The Movie Freak a middle-aged version of High Fidelity with a perfect ending. Tad overrated still great! 4 stars
8/12/05 Mark Not a work of art, but a decent entertainment 3 stars
8/11/05 bonnie mcfadden come on! I was thinking about my auction on eBay half the time! 2 stars
8/02/05 Elitza Premiered in TC, MI--great flick! 5 stars
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  05-Aug-2005 (R)
  DVD: 03-Jan-2006



Directed by
  Jim Jarmusch

Written by
  Jim Jarmusch

  Bill Murray
  Jeffrey Wright
  Frances Conroy
  Sharon Stone
  Jessica Lange
  Tilda Swinton

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