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Sabrina

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Sabrina

Starring: Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond
Director: Sydney Pollack
Rated: PG
RunTime: 127 Minutes
Release Date: December 1995
Genres: Romance, Comedy, Drama


*Also starring: Greg Kinnear, Nancy Marchand, John Wood, Lauren Holly, Richard Crenna, Angie Dickinson, Fanny Ardant, Dana Ivey



Review by Andrew Hicks
2½ stars out of 4

This remake of the 1953 Bogart/Hepburn classic starts off with humor and charm but crashes and burns toward the end, when too many conflicts and motivations are resolved too quickly, leaving a multitude of unanswered questions in the air. Harrison Ford plays rich businessman Linus, who is constantly terrorized by his bitchy sister Lucy... No, not really, but he does have an irresponsible younger brother named David (played by talk show host Greg Kinnear), who is currently engaged to equally wealthy Elizabeth (DUMB AND DUMBER's Lauren Holly), whose father is planning a billion-dollar merger with Linus' company, which manufactures security blankets... No, not really.

Meanwhile, lovely Sabrina (Julia Ormond), daughter of the family chauffeur, returns from a few months in Paris looking more beautiful than ever. David finds himself mysteriously drawn to Sabrina, who has been obsessed with him all her life but never got the time of day from him (because he doesn't wear a watch). David lets everyone in on his newfound attraction right before a painful glass-in- the-ass injury. Linus takes advantage of David's incapacitation to begin wooing Sabrina himself. Is he diverting her attention for personal or business reasons? The movie keeps us guessing on that one until the end.

SABRINA, at two hours and ten minutes, is way too long. There's no such thing as an epic comedy, so why are they trying to pass this off as one? It's too top-heavy, with unnecessary scenes in the first hour involving Sabrina's Paris transformation from mousy to lovely and David's attraction to her upon her return. Still, I shouldn't complain. These scenes may be superfluous but they're the scenes in which the movie works best.

It's toward the end, with all the rapid-fire plot twists and the Linus-Is-A-Prick...-Or-Is-He? scenes, that the movie tries to jerk around our emotions. Well, I don't know about you, but my emotions refuse to be jerked. I was looking for logic instead, and found none. I walked out of the theater asking all sorts of questions about why those characters waffled more in the last twenty minutes than President Clinton and a family-sized box of Eggo's combined.

Granted, there are a lot of funny lines in the movie, mostly found in that first hour. That's the part where you think you know the characters and their motivations, before the movie pulls the rug out from under you. Harrison Ford, as always, delivers a good performance, as does Ormond, although I can't imagine why on earth any man would choose her over the devastatingly beautiful Holly. (I'd like to deck my halls with boughs of that... I don't know what that means, but it sounds chauvinist enough.)

The big surprise of the movie is Kinnear, who claims to have had no prior acting experience (although pretending to tolerate Richard Simmons when he comes on your show is Emmy-quality as far as I'm concerned). I've had my eye on this guy since his hilarious between-clip commentary on E.'s "Talk Soup" show. He left that show, sadly--as his replacement is a cross between Jim Carrey and every pathetic small-town news anchor to ever live--and got a late-late night talk show on NBC which, also sadly, showcases no real talent on his part. It's in SABRINA where he truly shines for the first time, showing a great talent for both comedic and dramatic acting, even if he is unconscious for half the movie. Mark my words, that Kinnear kid has a future in Hollywood!

Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks

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