Archives for posts with tag: Julia Roberts

The journalist in me despises the real-life story of Erin Brockovich as an early example of thruthiness winning out over truth in American culture. The movie reviewer in me, however, absolutely loved “Erin Brockovich” (2000). It hits some cliche notes (David vs. Goliath stories can’t get out of their own way sometimes) but it was mostly feel-good without dumbed-down. Brockovich’s character was a tightly wrapped, crop-topped, Oscar-bound gift offered to Julia Roberts at the perfect time in her career and she accepts it in all its guileless, busty glory. Additional kudos to Albert Finney’s toupee and Aaron Eckhart’s fu manchu.

I don’t know enough about schizophrenia to know whether “Fear of Rain” (2021) is portraying or exploiting the condition, but as a film, it’s quite compelling. It follows a path laid out by “Conspiracy Theory,” the 1997 gem with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts that illustrated the idea, “just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” This time we’re in Young Adult Dramaville as a high school girl struggles to filter reality through multiple demons: teen angst and a crowd of voices inside her head. Someone’s in danger, but can she – and we – figure out who?

It starts out like a cliché rom-com variation in which a spurned wife goes to war against the woman who replaced her. You expect hijinks to ensue and the mismatched moms in “Stepmom” (1998) to eventually unite against some type of greater evil, with hilariously heartwarming results. However, the greater evil is cancer, an uneasy truce suffices for teamwork, sadness befalls everyone, and there’s lots of speeches that sound like they were edited by a committee of Hallmark-approved psychologists. It’s a box-of-Kleenex, pint-of-ice-cream tearjerker that will make you happy it ruined your night, if you’re into these kinds of movies.