Intersection (1994) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Egad, what a mess. What is the deal on Richard Gere and bad movies? He's not down there with Freddie Prinze Jr or Pauly Shore in the batting averages, but he must be below the Mendoza line. For a guy who's supposed to be a megastar, he sure doesn't get many base hits.


I guess this is supposed to be one of those weepy-ass Bette Davis movies, except that the narrative structure is quite muddled, so I'm not exactly sure if I was supposed to cry in the present, or in the flashbacks, or even in the flash-forwards. I'm not even sure if I can quickly identify which scenes took place in the present, because the past was filled with flash-forwards, and I don't know if that counts as present or not.

Richard Gere plays a 40ish architect who founded a business nearly two decades ago with his young wife (Sharon Stone). They are still business partners, but the marriage has failed. I think a good part of the problem in the marriage is that neither one of them has a personality. Stone is totally lifeless in the role, although that is what the script called for. Gere is equally lifeless, just because he's Richard Gere. They never have anything interesting to talk about together. In fact, one of the biggest problems with the script is that no character ever says anything interesting to anyone else. The other main problem is that nothing happens in 99% of the movie. There are a bunch of people doing nothing in the present until they flash backward to a bunch of people doing nothing in the past.

The basic plot point was that Gere couldn't decide between two women, wife and mistress. I guess his indecision went on for a long time, because he had black hair in the flashbacks, and he was still wearing those 70's polyester clothes from Breathless, but at the end of the movie he was wearing Lord and Taylor, and his hair was grey.


Sharon Stone shows her left breast in a make-up mirror scene

Lolita Davidovich flashes her breasts intentionally by lifting her jammy tops. She also shows one blurry nipple in an earlier apres-sex scene.

The movie might have set some kind of record because it went on for about 30 minutes after the first time I thought it had ended. (Gere died.) But nothing else happened after that except some weepy-ass moanin' 'n wailin' and ironic O'Henry endings.

You know those movie moments where the dead guy leaves behind the phone message that is heard only after his death, and seems oh-so-tragic in that light? Well. Get this. Just before his death, Gere wrote his mistress a letter to say that he was breaking it off. But then, he regretted the letter, and called her up to leave a phone message telling her that he adored her, and had to spend his life with her, and that she should meet him at some lonely country rendezvous. So we got yer basic ironic letter and yer basic ironic phone message, and they contradict each other. Gere wrote the letter in his car, at night, in a rainstorm, through his tears, by the light of a flickering all-night "Diner" sign. I didn't make that up.

Well, it turned out that Gere never mailed the letter, so his wife was handed it along with the other effects he had on him when he died. She read it, and had a good cry because it showed that Gere was planning to dump his mistress and come back to her, but he died while he was on his way to tell her.

Meanwhile, the mistress (Lolita Davidovich) never got the letter, but she did get the phone message, so she had a good cry because Gere was planning to choose her, and died while on his way to their secret country rendezvous.

Are you with me so far? We haven't even scratched the weepy-ass surface. The wife and the mistress met in the hospital, right after Gere kicked the bucket, and the following happened:

  • Stone was about to show Davidovich the letter, but held back and did not, thinking that she was committing a great act of kindness, because the letter showed that Gere was going to dump Davidovich.
  • Davidovich was about to tell Stone why she happened to be in the area, but she held back and did not, thinking that she was committing a great act of kindness, because her appointment showed that Gere was planning to dump Stone.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1. Beautifully filmed movie, beautiful transfer. Too bad the script didn't match the cinematography.

  • no meaningful features

Do you believe that? They actually give you something like 30 minutes of weeping, followed by ironic incidents, then more weeping over the irony - all after Gere died! The maudlin sentimentality and improbable plot contrivances in this script would embarrass Charles Dickens himself.

This isn't even a five hankie movie. Five hankies wouldn't make a dent in your tears. You better bring a towel. And not one of those little polite ones like they have in the bathrooms of expensive hotels. No, I'm talking about one of those giant beach towels that says "We Be Jammin'", the kind they use to toss the women up in the air in beach movies.

This film was scripted by the famous comedy writer Marshall Brickman. No, I'm not kidding. I think this was his only serious movie script. Do you think maybe it was all meant as a joke? I don't know, but if I had written this, that's what I would tell people.


Intersection (1994) was trashed pretty thoroughly, and rightly so, by Scoopy. He mentioned that it was a weepy dying man film, and that the only good thing about it was the cinematography, and the brief breast exposure by Sharon Stone and Lolita Davidovich.

I would like to pick on some other aspects. First, there is nobody to like in this feature length cliche. Richard Gere plays a man with no balls, and very little personality (probably well cast at that), Stone plays an ice princess with no heart and no libido as Gere's wife and business partner, and Davidovich plays a ditzy woman who seems drunk even those rare times she is sober, and who doesn't mind luring Gere away from his wife and daughter one little bit. Second, the ending is totally revealed in the first scene. Gere is driving down a slick road at 80 MPH, and looks up to see an SUV stalled and blocking is lane. He elects to swerve around it, only to see a big rig blocking his path. So he locks his brakes on the wet road, still at 80 MPH, and goes into un uncontrollable spin. The, his life flashes before his eyes.

So, either he dies in the end, or the ending is pure fantasy. So, the entire film is a flashback. Turns out, he is an old hand at flashbacks, and much of the flashback is told in flashbacks. It is almost like they kept writing and filming scenes until they used up their film stock. Then, the final insult to my sensibilities came hear the end, when one of the witnesses is being questioned. They show the crash for the 100th time in slow motion, then they witness says, "It all happened in a second," at which point they show it to us at normal speed. Stone received a Razzie for her effort, and the rest of the cast and crew were cheated. D.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: one and a half stars. Ebert 1/4, Berardinelli 2/4, Maltin 1.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 4.5 of 10
  • with their dollars ... amazingly, it grossed a respectable $20 million, probably on the strength of the star-power
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 D. Beautifully photographed. Nothing else.

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