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The actors are all very young. The film stars a very young Keifer Sutherland (Danny) and Meg Ryan (Bev) as a rather unlikely couple. The real 'star' of the film, the one who gets top billing, is Jason Gedrick (Hancock), whose career has been rather less prominent than Sutherland's or Ryan's. Tracy Jo Pollan (Mary) also stars in one of her few starring film roles. Pollan is now much better known through her marriage to Michael J. Fox.
The plot is a rather simple one. Four characters -- a high school basketball star (Hancock), a cheerleader (Mary), a dropout (Danny), his wife from a western state (Bev)-- all get tangled together in a final blow-up in the small hometown. The film opens during the all-important last moments of a basketball game. Of course, our guys win; the basketball star announces he's leaving for college, and the dropout announces he's leaving town. The cheerleader is left behind, but has hopes of her own.
Fast-forward two years. The basketball star is back home, working as a policeman. We slowly discover during the course of the film that he didn't make it as a college basketball star, and couldn't stay in college any other way. Mary, meanwhile, has gone off to another college, but has come home for the Christmas holiday, and as Hancock tries to rekindle old feelings, probably largely derived from hoping to recapture feelings of past glory, she feels pressured.Read more ›
RIP Nickle, who kept that broken angel wing.
Promised Land is competently directed and well-written (the dialog is great, although the story is neither particularly interesting nor believable), but it's mainly a character-driven, actor's movie. What the characters do is uninteresting, but how they do it is fascinating.
Jason Gedrick, Kiefer Sutherland and Meg Ryan are fantastic in the leads. Most of the other actors are at least competent, although their roles are far less well-developed.
Gedrick's has-been high-school basketball star is totally convincing and amazingly complex and sympathetic, far more interesting than such people are in real life.
Sutherland's sweet, nerdy, needy, clueless loser reminds me of Plato (Sal Mineo) in Rebel Without a Cause - a character so profoundly disabled emotionally that dying young is not only inevitable but a blessing. He's like a person born with no skin.
END OF SPOILER
Meg Ryan is fascinating as his miserable, destructive and self-destructive wife - a bad influence but not really a bad person.
These three actors (and the brilliant writer who created the roles) turn familiar stereotypes (The Washed-Up Jock, The Loser Nerd, The Crazy B!tch) into full, rich, multidimensional human beings.
But these three characters are more than human beings, because real human beings are just as simplistic and flat as the stereotypes they inspire. These are great movie characters, BETTER than real people.
That's why we watch movies instead of real people: great movie characters are lots more interesting. The three lead characters make this otherwise mediocre movie a delight to watch.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The movie was just ok. We hoped it would be better with all of the stars in it, but we were disappointed. The story dragged with lack of depth to the plot.Published 3 months ago by Nancy
I watched five min. of the movie and found out it has a R rating. I watched another moviePublished 8 months ago by C. R. Phenix
Well, I love this movie. One reason is that Meg Ryan and Kiefer Sutherland do some of their best acting ever. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rebecca Rowland Hines
When I was a kid I watched this and thought it was one of the worst movie I've ever seen. When I got older I decided to watch it again thinking that maybe I wasn't mature enough... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Karel Bennett
Watched it for the actors in it on a lazy night to escape the drudgery of term papers. I would've rather worked on my term paper.Published 14 months ago by tlmorris