Bounce (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I guess there's some progress in the career of director/screenwriter Don Roost. The bad news is - this script isn't that good. The good news is - it's a helluva lot better than his script for the Sharon Stone remake of Diabolique, which is up there with The Skulls on the list of the silliest scripts of the past decade. 
The good news doesn't turn out to be that good upon closer examination, however, because in between those two movies, he wrote The Opposite of Sex, which was well received by many critics and moviegoers. Because of this, critical expectations were higher than the level delivered by Bounce.


none, but Ben Affleck shot a moon to the camera in the gag reel of deleted footage
Unlike the edgy and often clever film, The Opposite of Sex, this one is a mainstream Hollywood weeper. In fact, I don't even know what else to call it. I started to write Romantic Comedy, but it's a comedy only in the Aristotelian sense, not in the laughter sense. I wouldn't call it a comedy, but maybe Aristotle did on his web page. He knows this kind of thing because he's a funny, funny guy. The only term I can find for it is a soap opera.

Affleck is a hustling advertising pitchman. He's in O'Hare Airport, on his way home from a business trip, when he gives his first-class plane ticket to a guy who wants to get home to his wife and kids. Sounds kinda thoughtful except that he really did it because he was hoping to make time with Natasha Henstridge, a fellow passenger whose plane was delayed for a day.

Wouldn't you know it, but the plane goes down. Planes sure crash a lot in the movies. Do they show those films on the airline in-house systems? That would make for a great flight from LA to Tokyo. Watch Bounce, Fearless, and especially the plane crash in Castaway.

Subsequent to the incident, Affleck drinks a lot, (we hear he was in rehab), and about a year after the accident he drops in on the widow, a struggling real-estate agent, and tosses a multi-million dollar sale in her lap. (His agency is looking to buy a new office). He originally intended merely to do this and then leave her life. He even instructed his assistant to dodge her calls, but it didn't work out that way. She is lonely and interested. When he gets to know her, he is filled with admiration and eventually love for her and, gosh darn it, she's just a swell kid.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • Full-length director commentary, supported by the producer, Affleck, and Paltrow

  • Making-of featurette

  • Deleted footage and gag reel

  • various interviews and a music video (this is a 2-disk set)

Of course, there's a big problem. He never told her that he's in her life because of the connection with her ex. 

She finds out, tells him to hit the highway, but it doesn't take, because (are you ready for this) ....

Affleck's agency represents the Airline, wouldn't you know. When the case comes to trial, he is supposed to testify to a bunch of self-serving bull that talks around the issues, but instead he tells the truth about how he was able to swap tickets without removing his luggage from the plane. Paltrow is watching Court TV when Affleck testifies, she is moved by his unexpected career-destroying honesty, and therefore sees the inherent good in him. Or something.

What more can I say? Maybe it is your kind of movie. The film received highest grades at IMDb from young girls, was significantly more popular with women than with men, was more popular with people under 18 than any other age group. In other words, if you like a soap opera, and you haven't become cynical about contrived Hollywood plots designed to milk your emotions, you stand a better chance of liking it. Some critics felt it was a pretty good flick. If it is the type of film you might go for, Paltrow does a great job as the widow, managing to create a believable aura of decency about her, and the DVD comes as a 2-disk set loaded with extras. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: three stars. Ebert 3/4, Berardinelli 3/4, Maltin 2.5/4, Apollo 85. That Apollo rating doesn't make any sense to me. That's up there with the all-time classics.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 51% positive overall, 42% from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.3, Apollo viewers 54/100. These are significantly below the critics' appraisal.
  • With their dollars ... it grossed 36 million dollars on 2000 screens. Production budget was 35 million.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C.

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