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A 90s Sleeper: intelligent humor, A-list cast, don't miss it
windsong35328 April 2009
I loved this movie...a real 90s sleeper. It's hard to determine why some films don't get the attention they deserve. The Paper is delightfully acted by an A-list ensemble in their prime. It's hilariously funny, with great timing and pace, and some poignant overtones on commitment, loyalty, family, friendship, work and the workplace, and big city journalism.

Feel-good and sardonic at the same time, I did NOT find it completely predictable. The screenplay is terrific, with thoughtful, intelligent, brisk dialog. Not a dull moment; completely entertaining. A film for "grown-ups". More kudos to Ron Howard.

Renting it just to watch the superb Glen Close's character, especially in the "stop the presses" scene, is worth the time/money alone. A charming Marisa Tomei perfectly cast. Robert Duvall, Jason Alexander, Jason Robards, and of course Michael Keaton...what's not to like? One of those films that can be watched many times by men and women alike. Highly recommended.
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The Paper Delivers!
ReelCheese15 November 2006
A funny, fast-paced and fascinating film, THE PAPER delivers. Michael Keaton is remarkable as Henry Hackett, a newspaper editor torn between the two loves of his life: his exhausting job and his long-suffering (and pregnant) wife. This juggling act plays itself out during one particularly frenzied day in which Hackett must weigh a better job offer while trying to outscoop his deep-pocketed competitors on a murder story.

It's a cliché to say so, but there's never a dull moment in THE PAPER. The multi-faceted storyline sucks the viewer in and doesn't let go until after the exciting, root-on-the-good-guys finale. An interesting film could have been made about any one of the angles explored here, be it the incredibly hectic behind-the-scenes workings of a major daily, the personal toll such an operation takes on its employees, or the media's tendency to oversimplify. To combine these into one film results in an infinitely mesmerizing piece of work. And let's not forget Ron Howard's direction, which is smooth and virtually flawless. The writing is equally brilliant. Whatever reaction the film tries to inflict -- laughter, excitement, surprise -- it inevitably succeeds.

The performances in THE PAPER deserve special mention. Everyone is so well cast that it's impossible to picture anyone else in these roles. Keaton has never been better in a starring role that is tailor-made to his comedic and dramatic abilities. Robert Duvall is on top of his game as the publisher whose job has cost him so much in other areas of his life. Marisa Tomei, as Mrs. Hackett, proves MY COUSIN VINNY was no fluke. (The scene where she glares at her husband in disbelief as he tells her he has to miss an important dinner with her parents is absolutely priceless). Randy Quaid is as quirky as can be as the paper's resident columnist. And although his appearances are brief, the late Spalding Gray is unforgettable as the head of a rival paper. This group of actors may very well comprise one of the most talented ensembles of the 1990s.

It's a shame THE PAPER has never received the attention it deserved. Had it been released 50 years ago, in a less cluttered era, it would most certainly be widely hailed as a classic today.
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Why can't I stop watching this?
stevendocherty3 August 2007
I usually find Ron Howard's work a tad self-indulgent - you only have to watch Apollo 13 to know what I mean. However, with this, Ron really delivers a fully watchable film.

There are classic comedy moments - the Glenn Close "I light a cigarette..." line is just brilliant - while also providing true pathos with an excellent performance from Marissa Tomei (a disappointingly under-rated actress in anything she is in - witness her performance in Mel Gibson's otherwise rubbish "Whast Women Want").

I saw this in the cinema, and own it on DVD - it features in my regular rotation, and it doesn't matter how many times I watch it, it is still good viewing. A sign of a classic film is how often one can view it without finding scope for criticism - nothing yet!
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A Slick but Superficial Comedy Drama with an Impressive All-Star Cast
Isaac58558 June 2007
THE PAPER was a glossy but substance-challenged comedy drama that is supposed to provide an incisive look into the daily running of a large metropolitan newspaper. Michael Keaton stars as Henry Hackett, a maverick reporter trying to get the facts accurate on the biggest story of the decade while simultaneously chasing down a better job at another paper. The impressive supporting cast includes Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Marisa Tomei, Randy Quaid, Jason Alexander, Catherine O'Hara, Spalding Gray, Lynne Thigpen, and a classy cameo by Jason Robards as the paper's publisher. No, there's not a lot going on here, but the all-star cast makes it worth a peek.
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The paper does deliver
jefonline26 November 2007
Kudos to my fellow Canadian from Manitoba who got it dead on! This is one of those movies that can should be played during college and university recruiting presentations. Being a newspaper journalist myself, this one kept me up until 2 or 2 in the am on a Sunday night. It was that good. The end of the movie makes it all worthwhile. I am surprised I had never heard of this movie until the day I saw it. Mchael Keaton, Glenn Close and Randy Quaid were excellent and this movie gives you a very good look at what it's like to be working in the newspaper business, with deadlines, dealing with superiors and the things you have to go through sometimes in order to get the job done. I guess it's a little late to be wondering about a sequel to this one but hopefully another director can take a stab at creating what this one just did.
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I have never liked Ron Howard films until now. I was shocked to learn that this was his work. I find them rather boring and lifeless, dry and without a personal stake in the story and its characters. The literalness in his shots and film structure is cumbersome in his dramatic works, but in a comedy like this, it works--it emboldens and accentuates the humor, rather than making the film boring to watch.

This film captured the chaotic energy of the newsroom floor and got me swept up in it. The ending had me cheering and laughing along with the characters. The film felt very personal, and it was easy to tell that a lot of love went into the production. The script was amazing, and the acting, superb.

Yes, the plot is contrived. But that's not the reason for the storytelling in this film. The story is about its characters. Every character is incredibly well-drawn and each actor is very much immersed and invested in their characters. Seeing the characters react and interact brought huge involuntary smiles to my face. The characters came alive, and as a result, the story made sense! What an awesome ensemble cast. It's my favorite so far in film. They make it evident that the paper is a force in itself, an idea, that drives these characters and consumes their lives. I think the film offers a view into the lives of these people--from their point of view.

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Candy Floss
JamesHitchcock10 October 2005
The film tells the story of a single day in the life of "The Sun", not the British tabloid famous for its Page Three Girls, but a struggling New York newspaper. The main character is the editor Henry Hackett. He is a workaholic who enjoys his high-pressure, high-powered job, but has been offered another position with the "New York Sentinel", a prestigious broadsheet. Although he fears that he will find this largely administrative post less fulfilling, he is being pressured to accept it by his pregnant wife Martha because it will involve shorter hours and higher pay. Among the other characters are Bernie, the hard-bitten hard-drinking publisher, Alicia the bitchy, unsympathetic managing editor and McDougal, the paper's star reporter who has been running a campaign to discredit the city's parking supervisor.

The main drama centres on the murder of two white businessmen in a predominantly black area of the city. This is initially assumed to be a racially motivated killing, an assumption shared by most of the press, and two black youths are taken into custody by the police. Hackett, however, has a hunch that the two are innocent and that the killings are in fact linked to organised crime. When, late in the day, he finds a policeman who confirms his suspicions he is presented with a dilemma. Under pressure from Alicia he has agreed to lead the next day's edition with a picture of the two men being taken into custody and the headline "Gotcha!" (once famously used by the British "Sun" in a different context) which will imply the men's guilt. Although the edition has already gone to press, Henry wants to stop the presses and use the same photograph but with a different headline emphasising their innocence. Alicia, however, puts financial considerations before journalistic accuracy and is reluctant to stop the print run because of the extra costs involved.

The film could have been made in one of two ways, either as a satirical comedy about the press or as a serious drama about journalistic ethics. Unfortunately, it does not fall into either of these categories but rather falls somewhere between the two. The overall tone is too light for a serious drama, and some scenes verge on the farcical. I am thinking particularly of the one where Henry and Alicia have a stand-up fist fight while he tries to turn the printing press off and she tries to stop him. I have never been Michael Keaton's greatest admirer, with his rather frenetic style of acting (or overacting), but if the film had been made as a pure comedy he might have worked well as the frantically overactive Henry. He did not, however, seem convincing in his attempts to make Henry into a crusader for truth and integrity. The scriptwriter must also bear some of the blame for this; it is hard to regard as a paragon of virtue a journalist who steals a story from a rival editor's desk while being interviewed for a job. The best acting performance was probably from Glenn Close as Alicia, but even she was something of a comic villain- the Cruella de Vil of the newspaper industry- rather than a rounded character.

On the other hand, the film is insufficiently biting and cynical and too sentimental to work as satire. It has been said of this film that even when Ron Howard tries to make a semi-serious film he ends up reducing it to cotton candy. To be fair to Howard, he has made some reasonably good films since 1994 on serious themes, such as "Apollo 13" or "A Beautiful Mind", but with regard to "The Paper" this comment seems spot-on. It is neither a drama, nor a comedy, simply candy floss. 4/10.
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" We Never Knowingly got a Story Wrong, until tonight, that's what Henry Meant "
thinker169125 May 2009
There are not too many solid Newspaper stories which ever make it to the silver Screen. Occasionally one does comes along and if it's message is important with respect towards the audience, it deserves attention. Such a movie is, " The Paper ". The star of the movie is Michael Keaton who plays Henry Hackett a city editor who's boss is Bernie White played by noted actor Robert Duvall. Jason Robards is the Publisher, Graham Keighley. Their newspaper is about to print a story about a local derailment, when a small item arrest in Williamsburg NY, inspires Hackett to risk his position and a promotion with 'The Sentinal'' a prestigious uptown Newspaper. There are a number of hurtles to following up on the Williamsburg murder of three prominent bankers who lost several million dollars of the Mafia's money, primary of which is Alicia Clark (Glenn Close) an envious supervisor who is more interested in saving money than the reputations of two black youths. She explains that without more information on the dead men, additional corroboration or a quote by the tight-lipped police, she is running the subway derailment story. Confident he is right, Hackett pulls out all the stops to beat a four hour deadline, attend his wife's (Marisa Tomei) social life, protect his top reporter (Randy Quaid) from a gun-toting parking official (Jason Alexander) and file the story by press time. The movie possess all the exciting impetus of a modern front page story including the daily problems confronting the staff and the personal lives of all concern. The film is powerful in it's direction and will in time be seen as a Journalistic Classic. Easilly recommended for all. ****
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Typically Good Ron Howard
gbheron1 April 2000
Ron Howard has assembled an all-star, A-list cast to dramatize a day in the life of a New York City tabloid. And they do a great job of it. Ron Howard is not a director to choose the "edgy" themes, and The Paper is no exception. The main plot focuses on the decision of whether or not to publish a sensational story that the editors and writers suspect is false, but will nonetheless sell lots of papers. This thread is supported by a variety of minor, intertwining stories that weave in and out of the main tale. It's very enjoyable stuff, part drama and part comedy. Ron Howard has made a movie that is just right for that weekend rental for the family.
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My god, what a piece of tripe
kardinian18 July 2001
Sometimes a movie comes along which is so bad, that seeing it just discredits the whole art. Desperate Measures was one of these movies, but that is a different topic for a different time. But The Paper was certainly close. Never has a movie stuck out in my mind of having such a poorly written screenplay and waste of acting that Ron Howard has perpetrated in so many of his movies (My god I rooted for the capsule to blow up in Apollo 13 to give the movie some real drama). This movie was about a paper covering a story proving 2 young black children being blamed for a crime they didn't commit and the paper that covered the story. The movie boringly portrayed the inner-workings of the coverage of the story(in a newspaper environment) along with sub-plots that were just insulting in their stupidity. If you would like to see a movie with fake drama and an awful plot which doesn't draw you to the characters, and would like to waste your time, I would suggest this movie. But then again, I would recommend this after sitting through Pauly Shore and Carrot Top trying to convey the meaning of life for a sea slug. It is a shame that an actor who was the best Batman, didn't stick with the series and went along to make such classics as this, Multiplicity and Jack Frost. No wonder he hasn't done a movie in 3 years. This movie also brought down the careers of Glenn Close and Marisa Tomei in the process. It is fortunate that a director that lacks so much talent is out there so that we can better appreciate the works of Stanley Kubrick, and has paved the way for great young directors like M. Night Shyamalan and Sam Mendes (American Beauty) to show their Talent. To quote the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, "Worst Movie Ever".
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Misses the mark
railmc2326 February 2001
Movie about a New York city tabloid misses the true story entirely. A story newspaper about two young Black men framed for the murder of some rich white guys. The hero is a news editor who doesn't want to run the bogus story because it will cause race riots. He makes great personal sacrifices for this, and in the end the story they get is just as much of a scoop anyway, so everyone is happy. The reality is the mainstream media who really want to be honest aren't made into heroes: they're broke.
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Implausible storyline, but well acted film on inner workings of a tabloid paper
long-ford1 March 2009
'The Paper' is solid entertainment. The film shows the high tension jobs of reporters working in a big city tabloid paper. The plot is rather implausible, but the film has a cracking pace and good performances all round. Michael Keaton is dynamite as the workaholic editor of the paper who's immersed in his job and neglecting his pregnant wife Marisa Tomei. Robert Duvall, Glenn Close and Jason Robards all do well in supporting roles. The ending is full of loop-holes but somehow manages to work. Worth watching for it's energy and fine acting.

Overall 7/10
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A Nutshell Review: The Paper
DICK STEEL24 February 2009
I've been to a newsroom only twice in my life. First, it's to collect some lucky draw winnings, and I had a sneak peek into the hustle and bustle of a newsroom from behind a glass panel. The next one was more up close and personal, because a journalist friend brought me right up to his desk (and an incredibly piled up one at that), and I had first hand view of how news got made. Or at least it seemed that the next day's articles were done up because there were few people left in the office, and there was a group huddled at one corner.

Ron Howard's The Paper was one of those films that I didn't catch at the cinemas (at that time, the teenage me only recognized Michael Keaton of his 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns fame), and missed a number of scheduled telecast and re-runs on television. So it's no surprise that I snapped up the DVD the minute I saw it in the discount bins at the store. And I wonder just why the heck it took me so long to get down to watching this, with no regrets (save for the technical aspect of the presentation).

Keaton plays a Henry Hackett, a sub-editor for a small time tabloid in New York. Being a go-getting workaholic, he often puts his family life aside, which of course puts his very pregnant wife Martha (Marisa Tomei) under a lot of stress especially with her pregnancies woes, and not being able to get out there and do stuff. For their financial stability, one of the many subplots here involves her getting Henry a job interview at a larger paper, The Sentinel, and threatens him not to sabotage his own opportunities for advancement, which we learnt that he does so quite frequently in order to stay where he is.

And it's not rocket science why too, as the bunch of folks he's working with is really madcap, and I think I too can thrive in such as a stressful, chaotic, but totally livewire environment. Each character presents a separate subplot which intertwines with Henry's life, and in one scene which I was totally mesmerized with, was when everyone dropped by Henry's office, and it went just off the hook. Wonderful stuff there, especially when you have Glenn Close as a rival sub-editor who happens to be the office bicycle (erm, that means everyone had had a ride), Robert Duvall as an ailing editor stricken with cancer and trying to reconcile with his estranged daughter, and Randy Quaid in a totally hilarious role as the bummer in the office.

All these while the team had to debate with the front page story for the next day, centered on reporting what's accurate and doing what's right – the social responsibility in being a paper, with pressure on them because they had missed the previous day's scoop. Everyone's preoccupied with their own personal agenda, set against an office where the air-conditioner isn't working and driving temperatures and tempers up. It's work and family over a period of 24 hours, and I felt that this film had a story that ranks itself up there with other films that deal with their narratives over the same time period.

You'd have come to expect a certain assured standard from director Ron Howard, and this film demonstrates nothing less. Everything naturally comes together perfectly toward the end like the birth of a new dawn, with relationships bruised but not battered, and what I also enjoyed here was John Seale's superb cinematography which had this extremely fluid motion when bringing us in and around a newsroom for that office tour each time we run around like crazy with Henry. The paper would be one of my personal favourites, and my only regret (besides the technical aspects of the DVD) was why it had taken me this long to uncover this gem of an enjoyable film.
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A charming comedy with a great story and some very funny characters
stefan-reindl18 January 2006
The Paper is a wonderful story about Henry Hackett, a workaholic editor for a small-time New York newspaper. Henry's wife, who used to work for the same paper, is very pregnant. Problems arise when Henry's work and home life begin to conflict with each other as he chases the truth to a racial shooting and races against the looming deadline. More pressure is put on Henry as his wife questions how much he loves her and when he is offered a high-paying job at a big-time paper in town.

The Paper is a perfect example of Ron Howard's style of directing a comedy. Viewers will notice many parallels with Howard's more famous comedy, Parenthood. The story is based on Henry, and we do have some insight into what the other characters around him are like, but not too much is revealed about their lives beyond work. The story progresses quickly and fluidly. Howard is a master at creating films that work.

Michael Keaton is pretty much perfect in the role of Henry. He oozes talent and intelligence yet also gives off an aura of impatience and nervousness. Robert Duvall is also well cast in the role of the sickly newspaper patriarch who gave his life to his career and is now very ill. Although The Paper relies largely on its all-star cast (Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei, and Randy Quaid), the result is not disappointing. Some of the most funny moments in this film are when most (or all) of these characters are in the same room together.

The Paper covers a very broad range of comedic styles. Everything from low-brow jokes and physical slap-stick comedy to the intelligent remarks that will take you a second to figure out are represented here. In this way, The Paper is almost guaranteed to make you laugh, no matter your preference of style. It's a charming comedy with a great story and some very funny characters. Highly recommended.
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Simple, A pretty good movie with many stars.
jake14rh4 February 2001
It's a simple, decent movie. 7 out of 10.

Don't expect too much just because of all of the very good actors in the movie. It's a simple story about a power struggle at a newspaper, between one side trying to get the story right, and the other just trying to do their jobs.

This movie could have been alot better. The general storyline is good, but not much was done with it. The middle does drag a little bit, and not much drama is introduced until a very good sequence at the end.

The performances were very good but the script was so-so.
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Shame on this vile and phony drivel
max von meyerling29 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Superficially just another movie, a dramatically structured story with a whole host of familiar tropes and cliché's about the newspaper business. If you find the actors, especially Michael Keaton, who carries the picture, sympathetic in that quasi sexual way audiences co-exist with stars images, then you can get from the beginning to the end involved and amused. Any careful and serious examination below the surface would reveal a awful and wretched exploitation of the business of reporting news as a glamorous and contemporary front for the same old stupid story that Hollywood has been selling since Edison first passed celluloid through a camera. In one particular instance, the total lack of journalistic ethics, the phrase 'poisonous piece of crap', would not be out of line. Luckily most people won't spot the professional malfeasance equivalent to Ronald Reagan having his legs amputated by a sadistic doctor in Kings Row. All they will see is the star driven by professional ideals and pulled by his personal commitment to his wife and trying to do keep from being pulled apart by both of these opposite pulling forces.

Unlike a film which aspires to some integrity - e.g. 'art', The Paper piles on more crap- financial crisis at Keaton's paper, his wife is pregnant - the usual. The plot hinges on some young black boys who are unjustly accused of murder. There is some evidence that the police know that they didn't do it even though the boys were arrested. Marching alongside this plot is the fact that poor Keaton is being offered a high paying virtually sinecure position at the august if stodgy New York Times which would give him a secure financial feature and respectable and predictable hours to care for his family. The Times, however, has proof that the boys didn't do it, which Keaton, ostensibly going to a purely pro forma job interview, uses to steal the information. You see he prefers the rough and tumble, or more properly, the phony Hollywood idea of big city tabloid rough and tumble, of his sleazy but lively fun little garbage paper. Oh yeah, he's doing it so the boys, who would be released the next day anyway, but whose 'cause' is also piled on to make Keaton a social concerned humanist and not appear to be the drunken opportunist his character was supposedly based on (Mike McAlary).

As usual the real world of journalism is subsumed into a by the numbers walk through plot 37a with all of the concocted sauces to give this dead meat some taste. One of the features of the marketing of The Paper was its supposed 'authenticity' guaranteed by enlisting hack screenwriter David Koepp's journalist brother Stephen, whose eternal shame this vile dreck will will testify to. I mean, the rest of these Hollywood whores can go on to either glory or more shame, but Stephen Koepp, by promoting and even glorifying the legitimacy of unethical behavior, will be marked as surely as Cain was. This is what happens when film industry "ethics" is superimposed over very real journalism ETHICS.
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Super Entertainment...
namashi_17 August 2010
Ron Howard is a legendary filmmaker, no two options on that! His body of work is truly admirable, as he has made dozens of memorable films. 'The Paper' is another feather in his well-decorated cap, a film that exposes the behind-the-scenes of a newsroom.

It beautifully depicts 24 hours in a newspaper editor's professional and personal life. Howard makes the most believable characters in a subject like this. Each character has a interesting story to tell, which is the U.S.P of this rush-hour flick. As mentioned, It offers Super Entertainment in those 110 minutes.

Howard's direction, as always, deserves brownie points. David & Stephen Koepp's screenplay is super, with memorable dialog. John Seale's Cinematography is perfect. Daniel P. Hanley & Mike Hill's editing is flawless.

In the acting department, Glenn Close is fantastic. She plays her character flawlessly. Michael Keaton is lovable. One of my all-time favorite actors! Robert Duvall, like always, is restrained and cool. Marisa Tomei is excellent. Randy Quaid is funny, and gets it right. Jason Robards in a cameo, is fine.

On the whole, 'The Paper' is a memorable film. An Ideal Sunday Afernoon Watch! Thumbs Up!
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The Paper is my baby!
imseeg16 March 2018
Fast and witty story about 1 day in the life of a newspaper journalist. Workaholic Michael Keaton is addicted to his feverish deadline job at the daily newspaper.While his wife Marisa Tomei is pregnant he still wont take time to support her because he is rushing to make the newspapers deadline. Will they release the paper in time for todays deadline or not?

"The Paper" is a somewhat romantic and feverish portrayal of a days work at a newspaper and it makes for great cinema! Seen "The Paper" many times now. It isnt a masterpiece, but is so enjoyable to watch again and again, because the characters are so loveable and full of charm and wit. The actors Michael Keaton, Glenn Close, Marisa Tomei and Robert Duvall are to thank for that. They carry this movie with ease! Lovely, energetic and witty picture! Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Ron Howard makes another feelgoodmovie with "The Paper". Never too sentimental, never too cliche without humour softening it, Ron Howard finds the right balance. I believe that in "The Paper" director Ron Howard is at his peak. I feel really good having watched this fast, witty and sometimes romantic flick!
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Refreshingly different!!
PapaSkiBear13 January 2018
In typical Ron Howard style; genius, The Paper is fun, witty, with enough tension to keep it interesting; intriguing! Little different framework from other Ron Howard classics, but is equally as entertaining. If your looking for "The Post" or "All The Presidents Men" suspense, thrills and chills, don't. This movie is an entirely different film thankfully! No mistake, the others are or will be long time classic treasures! Love them both! This ride is fun, enjoyable; funny!

PapaSkiBear Hangtown Ca.
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One of the films that inspired my career choice
bh_tafe323 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Knowing a lot of other journalists, I can assure readers I was not alone in watching this 1994 Ron Howard film and thinking "that's what I wanna do!" Looking at this as someone who's worked at newspapers both small and big, and recently back to small again there are scenes in this that perfectly capture the base insanity of those who catch the journalism bug. It's a strange profession. When you are in a groove and rolling there is no job like it. The diversity and breadth of people you meet, stories you cover and publications you have the opportunity to work for are simply incredible. When you are in a rut and struggling to string two paragraphs together, it can be the very definition of hell.

The film belongs to Michael Keaton, who is having the type of day that anyone who's been in the job for more than a few months can relate to. He has the story, knows what really happened, but is banging his head against a brick wall looking for someone to confirm it. I love that I recognize some of the other characters in this. The guy with the comfy seat, the guy who wants to know if "there's a better word for....," the frustrated boos who just wants you to get to the damned editorial meeting on time, and the cynical secretary "you're honest, ethical and I want you out of this building." And it is that editorial meeting which captures the actual process so well.

There are so many great actors and performances in this movie. Glenn Close as a woman in what was then a man's world (three of my first four editors were female so it's less so now, but city papers definitely have a ways to go), trying to be taken seriously, Randy Quaid as a typically useless columnist. Marissa Tomeii as a pregnant woman who really can't handle taking time off from the job (which reminds me of many a colleague who would make their way to the office as far into their pregnancy as 9 months).

This is a comedy first and foremost, and so it has license to go over the top, but Keaton's journey, apart from punching his editor in the face in the final scene, is entirely authentic for anyone who's ever felt that frustration of having a story written and ready to go and trying desperately to get confirmation without which it can't be printed. "I need it! Right. Now! TO. NIGHT!" I guess if you worked in saner papers than the ones I have (I hold out hope that somewhere there are some) or have never worked in a paper before, some of the stuff in this may come across as odd, but I loved watching it when I was young and was shocked to find how close to reality some of this was. There's a reason why they play the editorial meeting scene from this film in first year university media classes. Of course not all of it rings true, and some of it is just plain naïve, but it tries. Just sit back and enjoy a fun, engaging and at some points, accurate, look at a profession like no other. Enjoy a superb performance from Michael Keaton supported by a fully functioning ensemble. The Paper isn't a perfect story, but would make Page One most days.
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why was this movie made?
midniteprincess23 June 2001
talk about your stinkers.. this one sure was.. even with Michael Keaton, Glenn Close , and Robert Duval was Stupid !!! it made NO sense what so ever , i watched the whole thing as was totally lost.. it was so dumb.. why did Michael even make this one.. and how could Glenn and Robert stoop so low to star in such drivel??? i watched it because Michael was in it . and after i watched it , im sorry that i even rented it in the first place.. what a waste of good money... to me these stars made no difference at all.. it was Lousy !!
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stop/start the presses
lee_eisenberg31 August 2006
"The Paper" does seem slightly more serious and less sentimental than most of Ron Howard's movies. Focusing on an overworked reporter (Michael Keaton) getting torn between a big story and his wife (Marisa Tomei), it's worth seeing. I wonder how many movies there can be about someone getting between his family and his job, but combining that with something about the media - specifically a newspaper - makes it a little bit more interesting. In my opinion, the most interesting character was Glenn Close's incarnation of the bitchy executive (there always has to be one of those, doesn't there?) preferring to stick with policy rather than investigate the story seriously; you're not sure whether she makes your skin crawl or whether she's kinda likable.

So, this isn't the greatest movie ever - certainly not the best movie focusing on the media - but worth seeing as a look into situations slowly but surely spinning out of control. Also starring Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Jason Alexander and Clint Howard.
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THE PAPER : A Nice Companion To PARENTHOOD, Though Not Quite As Good...
cwrdlylyn10 January 2006

This is the kind of Ron Howard film I enjoy... and I hope he goes back to films like THE PAPER sometime soon.

I found a brand new VHS of this film in my mall for $2 and, knowing how much I loved Ron Howard's PARENTHOOD, I figured I'd give the movie a shot. After all, it's cheaper then renting it would have been.

THE PAPER is no where near as good as PARENTHOOD (Ron Howard's true masterpiece IMO)... but, it is a fun/lightweight film in the same vein. It follows a similar formula by taking one central character, in this case Michael Keaton, and following the busy lives of the many people around him.

THE PAPER offers up an incredible ensemble of actors. Even the smaller roles utilize genuinely talented actors, for example, a woman as amazingly talented as Catherine O'Hara has only one scene. And the ensemble really delivers in their roles.

The script for THE PAPER relies a bit to much on the frenzy of a New York newspapers daily operation, and neglects extensive character development. But I guess that's the nature of a piece meant to realistically show the lives of people working in such a crazed profession. On some level, these people don't have much depth to their character beyond their work. Yet, in the end, each and every one of them have a moment in which life becomes more then work and it makes for a satisfying ending to this romp.

The strongest aspect of the film though is the charisma being exchanged between all the performers. The meetings in Duvall's office between the entire staff features some incredibly strong and fluid ensemble work.

This might be Micheal Keaton's best performance, though the man certainly relies very heavily on those eyebrows. His chemistry with Marissa Tomei, as his very pregnant wife, is great. And for anyone who thought Tomei didn't do anything between MY COUSIN VINNY and IN THE BEDROOM, check out this film. Her performance was actually my favorite in the film, she brings more layers to her character than most of the other actors, and she exudes charisma.

Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, and Randy Quaid are all entertaining and fully invested in their interesting (though not too defined) characters. Each is given a gimmick more than a personality... Close the frigid bitch who turned her back on true journalism, Quaid the odd reporter always afraid for his life, and Duvall the lovable old man who lived his work and is now ill. But they are all actors with enough experience to keep the audience from realizing how thankless their roles are.

Overall, THE PAPER is more detailed than your average comedy, and it's fun to watch as an ensemble comedy. Ron Howard needs to return to this style of ensemble comedy material, cuz he handles it very well.

... B- ...
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Richly textured, nuanced, fun ensemble piece; a must-see
ciocio-28 March 2004
EXCELLENT movie, and a rarity (perhaps even more so when released than currently) in that it is a real ensemble movie, with all cast members, even the less prominent ones, having meat to their characters and rich scenes. And, what a cast! Besides the obviously fabulous leading players (Keaton, Tomei, Duvall, Close, Quaid), we have Lynne Thigpen, Catherine O'Hara, Jasons Robards and Alexander, Spalding Gray, Jill Hennessy, Clint Howard (among other Howards, but nepotism is fine when the work is good), Amelia Campbell, and many other good character actors who give their all to even tiny roles.

As others have pointed out, this is one to enjoy re-viewing from time to time. Hadn't watched it in awhile, but thought of it, with the tragic confirmation today of Spalding Gray's death by suicidal drowning. He is perfect in his portrayal of the intelligent, smug, snobbish, then righteously indignant editor. So much nuance in a small part that would have been a one-dimensional figure of ridicule in most modern day, big-budget movies. The other sadly deceased cast member, gone much too young, is Lynne Thigpen, who was one hugely talented, versatile, accomplished and ridiculously under-appreciated actress (hell of a singer, too). As usual, she is just so real, and eminently watchable as the stressed, pressured secretary.

Other various gems gracing THE PAPER (just randomly off the top of my head) include: the sharp, true parodies of frenetic television news channels, and the resentful attitude of the print journalists who actually do the hard digging; the scene between Catherine O'Hara and Marisa Tomei--comic gold, with painful truth in it; the panicked, woozy-hallucinogenic scene with Keaton greeting and leaving his wife and parents at the restaurant; the palpable sense of heat and pressure building to the climax of the movie; the dramatic, violent, yet also screwball climax, with Glenn in the printing area; just the basic good-hearted, menschlich aspects of the characters, flawed as they are. THEN, there is of course, Randy Newman's glorious score--just perfect.


Sure enough, one can pick at aspects of the plot, and the way various threads end up weaving together towards the dramatic dénouement and resolution. Sure, it's unlikely that things would work out quite so cleverly in real life, but this is a MOVIE, and when crafted and performed this well, it's worth exercising a little willing suspension of disbelief. It's also entertaining as hell. And the ending is not all Hollywood-happy-triumph:

Duvall's character takes what pleasure he can from watching from a distance the daughter who has disowned him, and knowing she must at least respect the work he and his staff have done to absolve the innocent young suspects. Perhaps they'll reconcile before the cancer kills him, but likely not--we're left with a potent mix of more doubt than hope. Keaton and Tomei have survived, and have a healthy newborn, but are still in their difficult financial situation, and have sacrificed the chance at a more comfortable and prestigious lifestyle. Her conflict of mothering vs. the work she loves and misses is unresolved (if momentarily softened in the haze of post-natal happiness). And another hot day is beginning, with a whole new round of the never-ending stress of slogging through the work of a print journalist, knowing that's a breed of dinosaur that may well soon be extinct. Hell of a movie.
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Ensemble Cast; pretty good.
smatysia28 August 2000
Ron Howard gets good work out of his ensemble cast. Michael Keaton's frenetic energy sets the pace in this film, oddly enough set in New York, rather than Chicago like most newspaper films. Kudos to Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Marissa Tomei, et al. A solid film.
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