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Laramie Movie Scope:
Nobody's Fool

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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March 3, 1995 -- ``Nobody's Fool'' is a nice little star vehicle for Paul Newman, about a ne'er do well small town carpenter trying to put his life back in order.

Newman is likable as usual as the gimpy-legged carpenter who is trying to sue his crooked boss (played by Bruce Willis) with the aid of an inept one-legged lawyer. Meanwhile, Newman's son, daughter and law and kids come to visit and he finds out his son is having his own marital troubles.

Newman seems to be having great fun in the role, so much fun in fact, that it seems effortless for him. He's fun to watch.

The dialogue in the movie is pretty good. An example: Willis tells Newman that he can't depend on luck. Newman replies, ``I used to believe in brains and hard work until I met you.''

The film doesn't have much of a plot, but it's more of a character study anyway. It's a slice of life featuring working people in a small town. As such, it's a rare Hollywood film. What makes the film interesting is how all the characters know each other so well. There are no strangers in this film.

This film also marks the last film of screen legend Jessica Tandy. She has a small role in the film, but she gives a steady performance right up to the end.

The story is very bittersweet. There are no real solutions to the various crises that arise. People muddle through as best they can. The relationships between people seem a little odd and uneven. I found it unsettling, for instance, that Newman was constantly barging into other people's houses without knocking. That is particularly unlikely behavior in Maine, where the story is supposedly set.

It is an uneven, but enjoyable film nonetheless because of solid acting, good character development and the pleasure of watching Paul Newman work. It rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)