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Episode #123: Grand Canyon

Listen to Episode 123 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In Grand Canyon, Mack (played by Kevin Kline) sees his car breakdown after making a wrong turn in a bad neighborhood. The tow truck driver Simon (played by Danny Glover) arrives just in time to stop a gang that was surrounding him and the two become friends. Meanwhile Mack’s wife finds an abandoned baby while jogging and his best friend is mugged and shot in the leg.

Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Meg Kasdan; Directed by Lawrence Kasdan; and released in New York & L.A. on December 25,1991.


Welcome to disillusioned middle-aged white people: The Movie

This film, which is intended to be about bringing people together and finding common ground leans so hard into stereotypes

And most of the non-verbal "connections" are simplistic analogies like "we both like watching basketball, how different could our lives really be?"

It's a movie that means well, but it's so stuck in its specific rich white guy perspective that it comes across as very naïve

Plus, all the leads are incredibly selfish. I mean, finding a baby and then simply trying to keep it without notifying authorities?

There's also this quick sequence of inconsequential events with a cut finger, earthquake and neighbor dying that give off this vibe of "what is happening in the world?" that feels very tone def.

And those dream sequences....what the hell was that BS?

There are a lot of great actors in the movie, but lackluster performances. Most of them seem so disconnected, which might have been the point, but it meant we couldn't engage or relate to them.

But Steve Martin has a beard, which may have been the most interesting part.

Awards Talk: Oscar and Golden Globe nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Picture. It was also named in the Top 10 movies of the year from the National Board of Review, and by Roger Ebert (#4) and Gene Siskel (#6)


This week our brief true crime connection is that the day after this released, Jack Ruby’s gun sold in auction

Moving to TV - Here's what was on TV on Christmas Day in 1991

Dolly Parton’s Home for Christmas special aired. We couldn’t find the 1991 broadcast, but here’s 1990s instead.


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 1 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - On a technical level, the movie is competently made. The cast is full of great people but most of them give vapid performances devoid of depth, which unfortunately matches the script. This was meant for people in their '40s in 1991 as "Civics 101" and has not stood the test of time, so no we do not want to watch it again.

If you want to watch Grand Canyon, as of this recording in July 2023, it’s available on Starz, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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