AMERICAN FRIENDS
DIRECTOR:                     TRISTRAN POWELL
COUNTRY:                     ENGLAND 1992
CINEMATOGRAPHY:    PHILIP BONHAM-CARTER
MUSIC:                           GEORGES DELERUE
CAST:                              Michael Palin, Trini Alvarado, Connie Booth.
SUPER FEATURES:        Michael Palin, of course.



If one was a Monty Python fan, one still follows the footsteps of the many actors and writers it had in its midst. And it is easy to see why they made it, since they are indeed a group of good actors that are interested in doing their work very well, albeit off the wall. Michael Palin is excellent, and like A FISH NAMED WANDA, is very smooth and believable. And this film, is actually very nicely written and rather subtle in how the story comes about.

And in the process it drops a scathing attack on one of England's oldest institutions of higher learning and its idiotic belief that men must live with men in order to preserve higher education.

This makes a good theme for Palin, who is well educated and read of a gentleman. The story is actually based on the memoirs of his father who left the chance to become president of the Oxford college in order to take up with an American girl whom he has come to like very much despite the fact that the new president is the hypocrite that got her pregnant, and violates the rules of the college many times.

On a holiday, into the Swiss alps, this educator (Palin) takes a vacation and comes to meet an American girl (Trini Alvarado) and her mother (Connie Booth). The mother is making the rounds trying to find a husband, and in doing so, the daughter is left behind at times, although the mother does mean well. In the process the young girl is the one who is falling in love with the educator, as is the mother, but their situation seems hopeless until they visit the college and get taken up by another educator (the new candidate) who proceeds to take advantage of the desperate young girl, while the mother is trying to land the best suitable candidate for the job. But it is an impossible situation because the college does not allow the men to marry, or to get involved with women, one of the old rules that stands to be dropped. Palin's stand is a bit on the old traditional values, and he is afraid of making a decision. But in the end he makes the right one, because we have a Michael Palin and a wonderful story to tell.

Very nice film. slow at times, because the old institution is dusty and in need of a good shakedown, but a real nice little film.

3 of 5 GIBLOONS
 

 

   

      

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