Earthly Possessions

Earthly Possessions


Reviewed by: David Stanners

Steven Dorff seems to have disappeared into obscurity over the last few years. Are bad choice movies responsible? Susan Sarandon, on the other hand, has been around for a long while, stamping her authority on the silver screen's creme de la creme. It is her talent and versatility that holds this well-worn outfit together by its threads.

If you're going to do a road movie these days, you had better bring some fresh produce to the table - this '99 vintage has gone a bit off! We've had the good and the great: thank Bonnie And Clyde and Terrence Malick for Badlands. True Romance hit the spot, too. These are the uppers. And with every upper comes a downer. Earthly Possessions definitely heads in that direction.

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Charlotte Emery (Sarandon) is taken hostage and kidnapped by Jake (Dorff), during a feeble attempt at robbing a bank. With the cops trailing somewhere behind, the pair take off across the country and Jake reveals to Charlotte his true intentions - to rescue his pregnant girlfriend from "prison."

It so happens that at this very moment Charlotte is seriously considering leaving her boring preacher husband. She begins to take a fancy to her abductor's youthful looks and wide boy swagger and after a double dosage of cheek and bravado, young Jake rubs her up the right way for a bit of the slap-and-tickle.

Heading for motels, while avoiding news bulletins, dumb-witted cops, roadblocks and country locals, the pair come to an understanding of sorts and a romance develops. Sound implausible? Laughable, even? If only. It may be a comedy, but laughs prove thin on the ground.

Sarandon makes the best of a bad situation. Her screen presence shines through, as a woman with a great sense of humour, in search of love, attention and adventure. Dorff does as much as anyone can, given the limited scope of story and script.

How does an uninventive TV comedy that isn't very funny still emerge quarter decent? Its all down to the lady. As the anchor, just about managing to keep it above sea level, Sarandon is convincing, endearing, charming and real. After riding the fast lanes with Thelma And Louise, one cannot help but wonder why she settled for the back roads with this effort.

Reviewed on: 16 Dec 2002
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Earthly Possessions packshot
Susan Sarandon is abducted by Steven Dorff after a bank raid and he steals her heart.
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Director: James Lapine

Writer: Steven Rogers, based on the novel by Anne Tyler

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Stephen Dorff, Jay O’Sanders, Elisabeth Moss

Year: 1999

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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