"The Magic of Belle Isle": Rob Reiner Reaches a Schmaltzy Apogee

With graceless melodramatist Rob Reiner at the helm, it's predictably ironic that The Magic of Belle Isle champions the unparalleled power of imagination while displaying absolutely none of its own. Reiner's latest schmaltzfest features his Bucket List star Morgan Freeman as Monte, a surly, wheelchair-bound cowboy-novel author who's inexplicably forced by his nephew (Kenan Thompson) to spend the summer in idyllic Belle Isle. There, he slowly learns to stop drinking away grief over his dead wife, embrace life, and resume his long-dormant writing through both his relationship with a divorcée neighbor (Virginia Madsen), with whom he shares unbelievable romantic sparks, and her three daughters, most specifically Finnegan (Emma Fuhrmann), who employs Monte as her creative-fiction mentor. Monte's spiritual rebirth also cheesily involves a friendship with a bunny-hopping, mentally handicapped man-child (Ash Christian), as well as a testy bond with a crotch-licking dog—peripheral threads that just further the overarching atmosphere of bathos. It's a tale of preordained and formulaic uplift and one that gives its likeable lead—who's asked to be charmingly grumpy, a drunk and suicidal luddite, a sagacious counselor, and a father figure—what seems like the ultimate all-in-one Morgan Freeman–trademarked role.

 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 

Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Powered By VOICE Places

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...