Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bobby (2006)

Despite being nominated and winning several awards (including a Golden Globe nod), I wasn't expecting a fantastic movie. Not sure if it was that I'd heard mediocre reviews or what, but after watching it the first time, I liked it; however, after watching it the second time, I had quite the opposite opinion.

The plot centers on the Ambassador Hotel, presidential-hopeful Robert F. Kennedy's campaign headquarters. Bobby begins pre-dawn on June 5, 1968, the day of RFK's assassination. The stories, while fictional, delve into real-world issues faced by folks working in, lodging at or visiting the hotel.

Director Emilio Estevez gives daddy Martin Sheen a role as Jack, a man with a much younger partner, Samantha (Helen Hunt), an artist (we never learn about or see her art/art form). Samantha struggles to provide the perfect-wife persona and with Jack's depression. Kitchen staff manager Daryl (Christian Slater) butts heads with his Latino employees, including Jose Rojas (Freddy Rodríguez) who laments that he has been scheduled for a double-shift but holds two tickets to the Dodgers game where Don Drysdale is pitching to break a record. Virginia Fallon (Demi Moore) is a well known singer married to Tim Fallon (Estevez--her real-life ex-boyfriend), who lives in her shadow. Virginia is jaded, angry and drunk. Sharon Stone sizzles as the hotel stylist married to hotel manager, Paul (William H. Macy), who is having an affair with switchboard operator, Angela (Heather Graham). Cooper (Shia LeBeouf) and Jimmy (Brian Geraghty) are canvassers who instead of going door-to-door to secure votes for RFK, meet Fisher (Ashton Kutcher) who assists them in their first acid trip. There's also Dwayne(Nick Cannon), a hard-working campaign manager who gets personal recognition from RFK for his efforts. Diane (a bored Lindsey Lohan) is the wife to-be of William (Elijah "Frodo" Wood), whom she help keep him off the front lines of Vietnam. There's Nelson (Harry Belafonte), a hotel employee mourning the arrival of old age and fearing his memory is going.

PROS: Impressive ensemble cast. Sharon Stone, Shia LeBeouf and Nick Cannon are stand-outs. The tennis scene on acid is hilarious. Actual RFK footage is used. With no actor portraying RFK, the footage made everything much more real.

CONS: The second viewing opened my eyes to the movie being too long and lacking real drama. Lindsey Lohan barely shows up. Ashton Kutcher plays himself, again.

Writer/Director: Emilio Estevez

Country: US

Genre: Drama

Run time: 120 minutes

Scale: 3

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