Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This macabre, whimsical, erotic, dark, seriocomic film is a complex tale about an eccentric family and the psychological and emotional maelstroms that follow them around from New England to New York to Vienna, where the Hotel New Hampshire is located. Writer-director Tony Richardson worked from the convoluted novel by John Irving that covers most universally saleable topics -- homosexuality, death, incest, abandonment, Nazis, masochism, terrorists, rape, mental instability, and anarchists. The children in the family are the main focus: John (Rob Lowe) is a womanizing high-school student with a deep-rooted desire for his own sister; Franny (Jodie Foster) is the eldest daughter, a victim of a gang rape, now morbidly fascinated by one of the rapists, and equally attracted to her brother with incestuous desire; Frank (Paul McCrane) is the younger gay brother; and Lilly (Jennifer Dundas) is the little sister who blossoms into a famous author. Associated with the family is Suzie the Bear (Nastassja Kinski) who is not secure enough to come out of her bear suit. One friend of the family, Freud (Wallace Shawn), has been blinded by the Nazis and is running the Hotel New Hampshire in Vienna when he asks everyone to come and help him out. By this time, the plot has run out of room, and the climactic endings to several unresolved relationships happen in quick succession.
bear, eccentric, family, incest, rape, blindness [physical], death, homosexual, hotel, Nazi