Nine short stories relocating the settings from Carver's Northwest to Los Angeles during a spraying of malathion brought on by a Medfly epidemic - intercut tales of disconnection and emotional emptiness. The stories concern variations upon the theme of Los Angeles angst --a happily married couple, Ann and Howard have to deal with the deep emotions felt when their child, Casey is struck by a car before his birthday and lapses into a coma, while the baker Andy of their child's neglected birthday cake sinks into a rage and torments them in their grief. Three men Stuart, Gordon and Vern leave on a much anticipated fishing trip, only to discover the drowned body of a nude woman floating in the river and decide to finish their fishing trip and ignore the corpse. A Los Angeles cop, Gene uses his badge as an excuse to cheat on his wife, Sherri. A pool cleaner Jerry resents his wife, Lois for her part-time job as a phone sex performer. A waitress, Doreen is devoted to her limousine driver ...Written by
Even though he film is based on short stories by Raymond Carver, one scene is taken straight out of David Osborne's novel "Open Season" from 1974. The scene where Stuart (Fred Ward) and his two buddies, Gordon (Buck Henry) and Vern (Huey Lewis), harass Doreen (Lily Tomlin) at the breakfast diner before they head out on their fishing trip, plays almost exactly like a short chapter in that novel. Three good buddies are heading out on a hunting trip, and harass a young, sexy waitress at the diner where they went for a breakfast stop. Not only the way the characters interact is similar, even the way the friends in this film are dressed, and how they joke with one another, is exactly like Osborne wrote it. Thematically, the novel "Open Season" is linked to this film, in that it is a harsh critique of a perverted "American way of life". See more »
Gene Shepard throws a rock through his mistress's living room window while she's away on vacation. Yet when she comes back, the window is unbroken. See more »
You know, I don't know who you think would wanna look at your sad, middle aged ass anymore!
Don't talk to me like that and don't you come back here! I'm not taking you back no more, understand? No more, I'm not taking you back!
I'm not COMING back!
Slobbering over Honey like that, it was so embarrassing...
I never touched Honey!
I didn't say you touched her, I said you slobbered on her!
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Wonderful, beautifully acted film about lives interweaving in Los Angeles against the backdrop of an invading poisonous bug. Ensemble cast is perfect, with standout performances by Robbins and Downey Jr. Altman succeeds in bringing us a film examining the coincidence of everyday life that we are too busy to notice. Shows a keen sense for relationships and the hardships of loss.
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