Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



THE GUYS

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, a journalist helps a Fire Department captain write eulogies for eight of his men.


CAST: Sigourney Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia, Irene Walsh, Jim Simpson, Charlotte Simpson

DIRECTOR: Jim Simpson

"Directed by Jim Simpson and based on a two-character play by Anne Nelson originally staged at Tribeca’s Flea Theater, ‘The Guys’ is a hushed and powerful piece about the grief sustained in the immediate aftermath of 9/11… intended as a metaphor for the ways in which we come to terms with all kinds of sorrow, and yet it never loses its specificity." --Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

"Some may find comfort in this film. It's also safe to say that the dead deserved better…Joan's experience is hardly hers alone; in the New York area, more people than not probably felt the way she feels. But drama isn't life, and her preoccupation with her own feelings in the midst of real catastrophe is off-putting. How could it be otherwise? Does anyone really care about her uncomfortable collision with cosmic uncertainty while families are missing their husbands and fathers? Not me. And Joan's soullessness is just exacerbated by Weaver, who was apparently instructed by her husband [director Simpson] to try to look sincere. As a result, she looks like someone trying to look sincere. And her unctuousness is made only more unseemly by the arrival of Nick Costello, played with nothing less than earthy genius by the increasingly wonderful Anthony LaPaglia." --John Anderson, Newsday

"Essentially a two-character drama, ‘The Guys’ makes the transition from stage to screen with considerable grace apart from some awkwardly inserted but brief archival footage…Weaver and LaPaglia quietly, effortlessly soar, and through their Joan and Nick we can experience the overwhelming enormity of Sept. 11 in an acutely personal way free of horrifying twin towers images, flag-waving and war-on-terrorism hysteria. ‘The Guys’ becomes a hugely moving tribute not only to New York's brave firefighters, but also to all the people who go about their daily lives contributing to the collective good that we never seem to know about until, with cruel irony, tragedy strikes." --Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times

"Its sincerity and manifest good intentions are overwhelmingly apparent and, I'm sad to say, insufficient…what limits ‘The Guys’--what makes it an exercise in art therapy rather than a work of art--is its decorous refusal to probe deeply into its characters, or to exploit any of the dramatic potential their accidental relationship might contain…At the end of the film, Joan slips into a church to hear Nick deliver one of his eulogies, and she mouths the words--her words, after all--as he speaks them. Whatever this moment is intended to convey, it has an unfortunate overtone of self-congratulatory vanity, which extends from Joan to the movie itself. It's called ‘The Guys,’ but in the end it's all about her." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"This is a superb theatrical situation, and you have two great performers doing the emoting…Evoking the events of Sept. 11 is a daunting, even foolhardy task. But at least screenwriter Nelson sets about it simply. She starts from scratch. The story begins with a writer who is completely on the outside. Eventually, with her strength of purpose, she draws emotion out of someone who is distanced from verbalizing such feelings. Both people ultimately get inside that emotional vortex, and that's not a bad journey at all.’ --Desson Howe, The Washington Post

"Stiffly directed by Weaver's husband Jim Simpson, the drama is notable as the first feature out of the gate to explicity deal with post-9/11 trauma. However, Anne Nelson's stilted adaptation of her play with Simpson never quite transcends its theatrical roots." --Thelma Adams, US Weekly

"‘The Guys’ is a very well-meaning movie, and it will stand in future years as an eloquent memorial to the World Trade Center tragedy. Its shortcoming is that it has little new to tell or teach us. In the end, it resembles the eulogies its characters are writing, heartbreakingly sincere but aimed more at the heart than the mind." --David Serritt, The Christian Science Monitor

"In the intimacy of its content and its performances, by Weaver and the always-fine Anthony LaPaglia, ‘The Guys’ is still potent theater. But there's an inherent distance between movies and their audiences that--combined with the distance between 9/11 and today's opening of the film—‘The Guys’ can't bridge…As a movie-movie, it's as static and undramatic as they come." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News