THE OTHER SISTER
Directed by Garry Marshall
Written by Bob Brunner & Garry Marshall
Starring Juliette Lewis, Diane Keaton, Tom Skeritt,
Giovanni Ribisi, Hector Elizondo
My Advice: Down and out Romeo and Juliet...
you'll root for them 'til the end.
Rating: out of
Carla Tate (Lewis) has just graduated from a special school,
designed for someone who is "mentally challenged" like herself. She is set to go home, into the waiting
arms of her caring father (Skeritt) and her overprotective mother, (Keaton). All parties involved are incredibly
nervous and uncertain about the whole thing, and try to work and live and love together despite the obstacles in
The major problem with this film, for me, came with Keaton's
character. She's a matriarch who is almost impossible to like because she's driving Carla away and too stupid to
understand what she's doing. She's doing a good job on her other daughters as well, which didn't help to endear
her to me. I had no sympathy for her at all, which is a bad thing.
Now, don't let me give you the impression that the movie was
completely without merit. That isn't the case. The humor is sometimes effective, and the characters are charming
despite the flowering poetic waxing that was laid thick over the theme. Tom Skeritt, for example, gives the standout
performance as Carla's father, trying to deal with his not-so-good past and his witch of a wife at the same time.
Not easy, let me tell you.
It was the main love interests that kept me going. It is a sweet
film, albeit a bit schmaltzy at times, but no matter how heavy your heart you're rooting with Carla and her befuddled
beau all the way to the end.