Music From Another Room

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy, Romance

A lovestruck artist pursuing a young woman encounters her screwy family in this romantic comedy. A talented supporting cast can't overcome a formulaic script that substitutes a fast pace for inspiration. Five-year-old Danny (Cory Buck) and his father (Kevin Kilner) are having Thanksgiving dinner with the family of his late mother's best friend Grace (Brenda...read more

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A lovestruck artist pursuing a young woman encounters her screwy family in this romantic comedy. A talented supporting cast can't overcome a formulaic script that substitutes a fast pace for inspiration.

Five-year-old Danny (Cory Buck) and his father (Kevin Kilner) are having Thanksgiving dinner with the family of his late mother's best friend Grace (Brenda Blethyn). When she unexpectedly goes into labor, Danny helps his father with the delivery, and afterwards says he'll marry the girl, Anna,

when they grow up.

Years later, back in the US after having been raised in England, Danny (Jude Law) is forced by a streak of bad luck to take a temporary job as a delivery boy before starting work restoring a mosaic. A chance meeting with Grace's family convinces him that fate plans for him and Anna (Gretchen Mol)

to be together, even if she is engaged to marry Eric (Jon Tenney). Biding his time, he spends time with her siblings: blind Nina (Jennifer Tilly), who has been overly protected by her family; Karen (Martha Plimpton), a militant feminist who thinks Danny is just what uptight Anna needs, and

sister-in-law Irene (Jane Adams), who struggles to cope with the stress of marriage to Anna's brother Billy (Jeremy Piven). Grace, who is seriously ill, worries about all of her children but wishes that Anna would break out of her role as mother hen and find a little passion.

Danny declares his feelings for Anna, who doesn't take him seriously. But when she sees the passion her once-repressed sister Nina is enjoying with the boyfriend she met through Danny's efforts to bring her out, she changes her mind and spends the night with him. Grace's sudden death causes her to

go back to Eric, but Nina persuades her that she belongs with Danny, whom she catches as he is about to leave on a train.

MUSIC FROM ANOTHER ROOM, which was produced for theatrical distribution but wound up being dumped onto home video, was written and directed by Charlie Peters, scripter of a long list of lame comedies including KRIPPENDORF'S TRIBE (1998), JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE (1997), MY FATHER THE HERO (1994), and HOT

TO TROT (1988), all of which should serve as fair warning to potential viewers. It's not as bad as any of those films, but it does display the same formulaic approach, as if Peters believes that content comes out of form. The film starts well enough, with the scene of young Danny helping his

father deliver a baby; but once Peters gets all of his quirky characters together, he doesn't seem to know what to do with them, simply bouncing them off each other for an hour or so until it's time to bring everything to its pre-ordained conclusion. This is a shame because the supporting cast is

so much more interesting than the leads. Gretchen Mol makes for an chilly, uninspiring heroine, and her physical similarity to co-star Jude Law detracts from both of them: in this case, more contrast was definitely needed. Unable to generate any real romanticism, the film resorts to what feels

like endless replays of Savage Garden's hit song "Truly Madly Deeply," which topped the charts while the film sat in a can waiting for a theatrical release that never came. (Sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A lovestruck artist pursuing a young woman encounters her screwy family in this romantic comedy. A talented supporting cast can't overcome a formulaic script that substitutes a fast pace for inspiration. Five-year-old Danny (Cory Buck) and his father (Kev… (more)

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