Rated: R For language. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: December 23, 1992 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
The niece of retired Lt. Col. Frank Slade (Al Pacino) hires prep school student Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell - School Ties) as a companion for her uncle while she and her family go away for Thanksgiving weekend.
Col. Slade is blind from an accident, but that doesn't slow him down any. He and Charlie go to New York for the weekend, one last fling for the old soldier. They fly first class, check into the Waldorf Astoria and dine in the famous Oak Room.
Slade's an irascible son-of-a-gun; he yells, orders people around and enjoys saying outrageously embarrassing things (which were far too explicit for my liking). On the other hand, he can easily charm any woman with sweet talk and a mean tango.
Women dominate his thoughts and desires to the exclusion of everything else, except maybe a large tumbler of Jack Daniels, which he calls John because of his close personal friendship with the liquor.
Charlie's job is mostly as a nursemaid to an overgrown child who's totally out of control. But, he's also concerned with his own problems. When he returns to school he has to appear at a mock trial to squeal on his fellow students or be suspended.
It's no surprise when Slade show up to give a rousing endorsement of his new young friend. Reminiscent of Pacino's "...And Justice For All". He bites into an impassioned speech and won't let go until you're every bit as fired up as he is; it's quite a performance.
It's to O'Donnell's credit that his acting stands out, which is no easy feat opposite the likes of Pacino. Currently a student at Boston College, O'Donnell is reevaluating his future after this acting experience with Pacino, whether to continue his schooling or quit to pursue his acting carer.
The script is different and you end up really caring about these two characters. Scent of a Woman is a really good story with two outstanding performances and an uplifting ending, a great way to spend an evening.
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