I Want to Go Home (1989)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Satire, Comedy of Manners  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Fans of director Alain Resnais will desperately search I Want to Go Home to find a gem hidden beneath its obnoxious surface, but it's doubtful that even the most dedicated searcher will be able to convince himself that the extremely talented Resnais did not come a cropper with Home. Home is not totally devoid of interest, for it has an antic, bizarre atmosphere about it that in small doses is appealing. And one does admire the director and writer Jules Feiffer for attempting to create a situation in which their over-the-top leading characters can become so outrageous as to transcend their total lack of appeal. Unfortunately, they fall far short of finding that transcendence, with the result that Home boasts two of the most unpleasant and irritating leading characters to be found in cinema -- and the supporting characters are not really very far ahead of them in the personality department. Things wouldn't be so bad if the screenplay were wittier more incisive or even if it just were better plotted. But Home is pretty much a mess. There are some wonderful moments in that mess, such as the sight of Linda Lavin and Gerard Depardieu dressing up as Olive Oyl and Popeye, but they're not enough to make Home a winner. The cast isn't to blame; they all do exactly what they've been asked to do, including Adolph Green and Laura Benson as the two most annoying of the characters.