FORCES OF NATURE
Affleck is Ben Holmes, a nice guy from New York about to be married to
a nice girl from Savannah. He and his fiancée Bridget (Maura Tierney)
are so in love it's sickening. He's so devoted, he can't even enjoy the
raunchy bachelor party thrown for him the night before he flies south for
the wedding. But the party finally ends, and Ben gets ready to confront
his fear of flying and make the trip. In Savannah, as the nuptial plans
enter the final stages, Bridget anxiously awaits his arrival.
On the plane Ben meets Sarah (Bullock), apparently still wearing her
costume and makeup from Practical Magic.
After some uncomfortable conversation, Ben's worst fear is realized
the plane wrecks during takeoff. No one is seriously hurt, though Sarah
does suffer a minor head injury, but all flights are canceled and everyone
must find alternative transportation.
So Ben and Sarah begin a journey plagued by difficulties, using every
mode of transportation from car to train to bus to spinning sombrero. During
their odd odyssey, they predictably become more than friends, and Bridget
and the wedding party are left waiting at the altar, wondering with increasing
skepticism whether the ceremony is going to happen at all.
Written by Marc Lawrence, Forces Of Nature has a decidedly anti-marriage
message until the final 10 minutes, when Lawrence caves in to the pressure
of political correctness. Every character in the film except Ben and his
betrothed Bridget, including their parents, are either 1) divorced and bitter
about marriage, 2) married, but unhappy, or 3) married and happy, but only
because theyre having extramarital affairs. I wont pass judgment
on this choice, but it does seem interesting, since the "me generation"
is coming of age (and divorce seems to be more and more a natural consequence
of marriage), that so many films adopt such a stance.
As I mentioned, Bullock seems to really be enjoying herself in this role, and Affleck is uncomfortable. I dont know whether this is because his role dictates it or if its just a natural reaction, but it works. Supporting characters are mainly two-dimensional with the possible exception of Tierney, who plays Bridget with a modicum of depth. Forces Of Nature features nice music (by John Powell) and some interesting cinematographic choices (by Elliot Davis), and, mixed messages aside, provides a nice diversion. ****
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