Archive for hank azaria

Tuesday With Morrie (1999, television film) Review

Posted in Movie reviews - 1990s, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by They call me "Mephy"

Tuesday With Morrie (1999, television film)

Oprah Winfrey presents:

Guys, the exam week for my high school senior year is approaching in about 2 weeks and I may have postpone until the exams are over. If that’s the case, I’ll have to make up for about 3 entries I haven’t gotten up which I’ll have more time to do so during summer break.

Watched this one with my English class; half of them couldn’t care less and talked amongst themselves…pity. For those who’ve enjoyed the book (including this blogger), this television film adaptation was as good as the book. Directed by Mick Jackson, this one won an Emmy award for Jack Lemmon for his role as Morrie.

Morrie Schwartz (Jack Lemmon) is a retired college professor who loves to dance, despite his age. One day, his body succumbs to a terminal case of ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Instead of living his final months in grief and regret, Meanwhile, Mitch (Hank Azaria, also known for his role in America’s Sweethearts and the 1998 Godzilla film), a former student of Morrie’s and currently a sports journalist and commentator, hears of his friend’s (or professor’s; Morrie’s sort of both) condition and decides to give Morrie a visit. He also has trouble in keeping a steady relationship with his fiance, Janine, due being rather occupied with his job when both want to talk to each other. Morrie decides to make this his last class session with Mitch; his main topic: life.

The book’s theme and plot was plain and simple enough for a nice little television film, but the casting proved to be suitable for the roles. When Lemmon is bedridden as Morrie and talks of his past, we can feel the uneasiness from Mitch, as Morrie could be gasping for air at any time; this was also Lemmon’s last credited television film role (his last film role being The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) ). The film focused mostly on Mitch’s private life rather than from Morrie’s, compared to the book, taking out the plot about Mitch’s brother and his estranged relationship with Mitch, being a cancer victim pursuing a cure in Spain. The book also mentioned a writer’s strike, whereas the film does not mention or show this, with Mitch working regularly. The quality isn’t too bad, after all being adapted for television and would probably have limited funding, but then there was nothing too extravagant to work with like special effects (most of the shots use whatever is there at the filming location and seems to only have to focus on music selection). I would recommend anyone to watch this (and read the book, if you’re not too lazy), it’s a beautiful story of someone you can learn from that could be used for everyday life.

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