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With Jim Sabatini

Boys On the Side

Boys On the Side
Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Drew Barrymore and Anita Gillette

Rated: R for nudity and violence.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: February 3, 1995 Released by: Warner Brothers

Usually I find road pictures dull, but this one is most enjoyable when the three main characters, Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker and Drew Barrymore are on the road and on the run.

Director Herb Ross follows the trio on their trip from New York to Arizona. On the way, Jane (Goldberg) and Robin (Parker) stop in Pittsburgh to visit Holly (Barrymore). They find Holly pregnant and abused by her live-in boyfriend. Parker is at her best in the Pittsburgh scenes. She is calm and in control in a dangerous situation. So calm in fact that she is comical and delightful to watch.

When the theme of the film unfolds, it explores a large unconventional family made up of Jane, a black new born child, Robin, her mother played by Anita Gillette, Holly, a cop who loves her and a wide range of friends who all care for each other.

The film circles around Parker who initially appears to be a 60s type woman, confident while wearing a Jackie Kennedy hair style. It is her advertisement in the newspaper for a fellow traveler which starts the adventure. Her stated reason for relocating is to start over. The true reason is her need to retrace a trip taken years before with her parents and younger brother. She is a joy to watch when she takes charge and is the leader.

It is almost uncomfortable to see Barrymore partially nude. She is far removed from little "Gertie," the character she played in E.T. She is the free spirit of the three, living with a violent drug dealer in the beginning, readily admitting to a wide variety of lovers and ending up with a cop named Abe Lincoln, who is completely and totally in love with her.

Goldberg is the catalyst. She brings the three together, drawing feeling out of Parker that have been suppressed.

The journey of the three women is less on the road and more in the field of emotions and a confidence in their own strengths, competence and relationships. It is more of an evolution than a journey.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Boys On the Side  B                        B 

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