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Home Fries

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Home Fries

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Luke Wilson
Director: Dean Parisot
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: November 1998
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Suspense

*Also starring: Catherine O'Hara, Jake Busey

Review by Steve Rhodes
2½ stars out of 4

So what is worse? Trailers that tell you too much about an upcoming movie or ones that mislead you?

HOME FRIES is in the latter category. The trailers make you think it is a light-hearted, romantic comedy, but the movie features a family that settles it arguments with military, attack helicopters. Even if the film isn't quite what it seemed to be, it is extremely cute, filled with lovable, oddball characters within a ridiculously crazy plot.

A sweet-as-Apple-pie Drew Barrymore plays the lead, Sally. Poor Sally is a very pregnant unwed mother. The father of her child is married and doesn't support her, so she works at the local Burger Matic. With her head sporting ten-pounds of red curls, she looks like she just came back from an audition for the musical "Annie."

In the first part of the story, her lover's two stepsons, Dorian (Luke Wilson) and Angus (Jake Busey), are sent by their mother, Mrs. Lever (Catherine O'Hara), to kill their stepfather. Mrs. Lever, who specializes in feigned grief, claims she didn't really want him killed. When they go after their dad with the aforementioned helicopter, they cause him to have a heart attack and die.

Meanwhile, back at Burger Matic, Sally's headphones get some interference that lets her hear part of the helicopter attack. Dorian then goes to work undercover at the fast food restaurant to determine exactly what Sally knows. In the process they fall in love.

As Dorian, Luke Wilson delivers a touching portrait of a troubled guy. His brow constantly furrowed, he comes to love Sally and her unborn child, but he is troubled by the implications of it all. Sally sums up their predicament on the way to the birthing room. "You can't be the father and the brother at the same time!" she cautions. "That's the kind of thing that messes kids up."

Fast food, a prime part of Americana that movies generally ignore, plays a central role in this comedy. Dorian chants the hamburger recipe as a form of mantra. And the funniest scenes in the movie happen at the Burger Matic. The best is a simple one in which Dorian is taught the precise way that they make their burgers.

HOME FRIES isn't much of a movie, but it is a charming one thanks to some lovely performances. Where else could you get a film in which the most romantic scene happens at a Lamaze class between two people who only recently met?

HOME FRIES runs 1:33. It is rated PG-13 for mature themes and some sexual humor and would be fine for kids around 11 and up.

Copyright 1998 Steve Rhodes

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