Urban Cinefile
"I remember seeing Robert Wagner on fire in The Towering Inferno. Itís kind of cathartic. "  -Tim Burton, director, Mars Attacks!
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY

SYNOPSIS:
The Labour Day weekend on Nantucket Island marks not only a family reunion for David Lewis (Peter Gallagher) and his teenage daughter, Rachel (Claire Danes) with sister-in-law Esther (Kathy Baker) and brother-in-law Paul (Bruce Altman), but also the anniversary of Davidís wife Gillian (Michelle Pfeiffer) who died in a boating accident two years ago. Esther and Paul bring an attractive single woman (Wendy Crewson) with them, to try to help David overcome his grief. But David is totally obsessed with his dead wife, and keeps her alive by having nightly rendezvous on the beach. But when David discovers that his obsession has damaged his relationship with Rachel, he realises he must do everything he can to regain his daughterís love, even if it means letter go of Gillian.

Louise Keller:
"This romantic drama charms its way into the psyche. A slightly contrived situation with sharp witted characters delivering snappy lines, evolves quickly into an entertaining, warm and emotionally satisfying film with a top notch cast. The strength of the film lies in strong performances and vibrancy of the script. The characters are well established, and we readily identify with them. Pressman has woven reality and illusion together into a tale; one enhancing the other. Claire Danes is superb as Rachel. She is all at once the gawky, shy teenager, the lonely bewildered daughter, the fun loving friend and eager girlfriend. She has the natural gift of transferring her emotions through the lens. Peter Gallagher as David has a great complexity, with his dark exotic looks and his ability to show his heart. The liaisons on the beach between David and Gillian have a soft, romantic feel; Michelle Pfeiffer is suitably dreamy as Gillian. There are lots of laughs: the script is witty and full of memorable lines. What parent wonít laugh (a little too loudly, perhaps) at Davidís opening line to Rachelís hip boyfriend: "Do you take drugs? How many holes have you got in your ears and nose?" The banter between child-less couple Esther and Paul is only too real and poignant. There are images that will stay with you; Rachel by the window, watching David walk on the moonlit beach, the water sparkling like stars, while James Hornerís beautiful soundtrack plays a haunting theme. And amidst the fun, the laughs and the sense of the ridiculous, is a certain poignancy which addresses the deeper more meaningful issues of letting go someone you love."

Email this article


Gillian and David


The family reunion on Nantucket Island


Cindy and Rachel talk about boys

TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY (M)
(US)

CAST: Peter Gallagher, Claire Danes, Kathy Baker, Wendy Crewson, Bruce Altman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurie Fortier, Freddie Prinze Jr

PRODUCER: Marykay Powell, David E. Kelley

DIRECTOR: Michael Pressman

SCRIPT: David E. Kelley (based on the play by Michael Brady)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tim Suhrstedt

EDITOR: William Scharf

MUSIC: James Horner

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Linda Pearl

RUNNING TIME: 92 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 8, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: November 11, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017