I have no doubt that GRAND CANYON will be my best movie of 1991.
This was a movie about how the chance happenings in your life can
fundamentally alter your life forever. It especially dealt with the
chance meeting of people who might become inseparable to you.
What is the plot of GRAND CANYON? Hard to say. It is about a lot
of things. There is a mugging, a rescue, a lost baby, a found baby,
getting involved with gangs, getting away from gangs, falling out of
love with your wife, falling into love with your wife, being scared of
someone of other race, becoming bosom buddies with someone of another
race, and so and so forth. In short it is about life. GRAND CANYON is
set in LA, but it could have been set anywhere. The movie's title
comes from a wish of one of the characters played by Danny Glover.
It was most of all a film full of wonderful characters that you
would like personally to meet. The dialog (Lawrence Kasdan and Meg
Kasdan) was always incredible. I hope the writers get the Oscar for
it. The directing is super. It was done by Lawrence Kasdan who did
THE BIG CHILL, and you can think of it as a much more serious and heavy
BIG CHILL. Alternatively, you can view it as updated BIG CHILL for the
GRAND CANYON is full of characters and full of events that make
you think of real life and not movies. Where else could you have a
long scene about the absolute fear of teaching a young boy to drive.
Imagine a left turn against heavy traffic that is really scary and
realistic and not the laugh track version you have come to expect.
This is also a quite scary movie with a fair amount of fear and
blood. A subtheme is the violence in society in general and in LA in
particular. As parents who are trying without much luck to have a
second child, the episode of finding the baby and keeping it was really
touching. Yet this was a life affirming and fundamentally happy movie
that made you want to immediately give your spouse (and children and
friends) a big hug.
The actors (Danny Glover as Simon, Kevin Kline as Mack, Steve
Martin as Davis, Mary McDonnell as Claire, Mary-Louise Parker as Dee,
and Alfre Woodard as Jane) are in top form. I had no idea Steve Martin
could be an articulate and serious character. There is one very bad
side to the show: It ends! The ending is fine and not abrupt yet I
wanted to go on for hours. I love these people.
GRAND CANYON runs 2:15 which might be too long in a lessor
picture, but here I wish the editor Carol Littleton had included even
more footage. Moreover, I hope that someday the producers (Michael
Grillo, Lawrence Kasdan, Charles Okun) will do a GRAND CANYON II
because I need to know how these new friends of mine from this movie
are doing. GRAND CANYON is rated R for some reason and I guess it is
the fear and the bad language. Certainly it would be fine for any
teenager. I recommend this film strongly to everyone over the age of
12 and award it my top rating of ****.
Copyright © 1992 Steve Rhodes