The Accidental Tourist / Drama / 1988 /

Stars: William Hirt, Geena Davis, Kathleen Turner

Summary: Based on a book by Anne Tyler, this movie is about a middle-aged travel
writer who doesn't adapt well to change in life. Hence, the name of his series, "The
Accidental Tourist", which appeals to travelers who leave the comfort of their own home
by no choice of their own. When the main character, played by William Hurt, has his life
unalterably changed by the tragic loss his young son, Hurt struggles with his deep
loneliness and pain. But, with the help of an eccentric dog trainer, played by Geena
Davis, he learns to not only tolerate the highs and lows of life, but to also make the most
of the spot he's in.

Opinions: Loved it, but I'm partial to the quirky works of writer Anne Tyler.

The Accidental Tourist (1988)



Reviews and Comments

Sam: The Accidental Tourist is a magnificently crafted black comedy. It is poignant, subtle of wit, knowing of
the heart, and can both sympathize with and laugh at its characters. William Hurt plays the lead, and it's hard to
imagine anyone else playing the role. Hurt turns in a terrific performance; he wins our sympathy without questions,
yet looking at his actions in the film, there aren't very many occasions where he does anything that deserves it. In
fact when he helps a friend deal with a personal problem in a meaningful and useful way, it's subtlely jarring, as it
does not flow with the characterization of him we've come to understand. Yet it's important to the film that we
sympathize with him; otherwise there would be little reason to care about how he changes.

The film is about the process of healing. It's a comedy, and it's very funny, but not in the conventional way. When
the movie opens, we are introduced to a couple who can't seem to cope with the death of their son; the wife
(Kathleen Turner) breaks their marriage off with a speech that should strike any sensible individual as sound
reasons for sticking together. The film explores the husband's pain and the distance he has put between himself
and the world around him by suppressing his feelings. Sounds hilarious, right? It is. Not throughout, perhaps, and
certainly not obviously or conventionally. It's one of the subtlest black comedies I've seen, and in an age where
movies present all their depth on a silver platter, it's easy to watch the movie passively and miss it all.

For those alert enough to explore its artistry and patient enough to savor its leisurely place, The Accidental
Tourist is a more than rewarding experience. The writing and acting are of particular note. Co-star Geena Davis
(an actress with one of the broadest ranges of acting quality I've ever seen) was at the top of her form and more
than deserved her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She had more screen time than the higher-billed
Kathleen Turner; perhaps it should have been the Best Actress award instead -- but at least she was recognized
for her outstanding work.


The Accidental Tourist

Welcome to the only page I've seen on The Accidental Tourist that doesn't belong to one of those annoying movie databases.
The Accidental Tourist is a quirky romantic drama about a grief-stricken writer's reawakening after he meets the free-spirited

It's a well-acted, intelligent yet sentimental love story with offbeat characters. Take a perky dog trainer, an
superorganized and strange family, an adorable dog, and there you have it. A fun dark quirky little movie,
starring Kathleen Turner, William Hurt, Geena Davis, and Bill Pullman.

Macon is the cold rather inert character that is emotionally crippled after his son is killed. Luckily, Muriel comes
along to cure him. She seems very simple, with her ridiculous clothes and child-like manner, but she is not as
simple as she seems. She is capable of seeing the future of her relationship with Macon, and tells him "Don't
make promises to my son that you can't keep." Muriel's son, Alexander, is allergic to just about everything, and
has had no father figure. He inspires compassion and love in Macon.

Edward the dog is one of the main characters too. He was Macon's son's dog, and serves