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Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her

3.8 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Touching, compelling and original, Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her spins a brilliant tapestry of interwoven vignettes. Starring OscarÂ(r) winner* Holly Hunter, five-time OscarÂ(r) nominee** Glenn Close, Golden GlobeÂ(r) Winner Calista Flockhart ("Ally McBeal") and Golden GlobeÂ(r) nominees Cameron Diaz (Charlie's Angels), Amy Brenneman ("Judging Amy") and Kathy Baker ("Picket Fences"), this "really special film" ("Ebert & Roeper and the Movies") is an absolute "triumph" (Mirabella). In the heart of L.A., six extraordinary women have come to an emotional crossroads: a talented young detective (Brenneman) struggles with loneliness, an ambitious bank manager (Hunter) contemplates motherhood and a successful doctor (Close) confronts her spiritual emptiness. At the same time, a blind teacher (Diaz) searches for love, a middle-aged writer (Baker) grapples with prejudice and a gifted fortune-teller (Flockhart) grieves for her dying lover. Poised between fear and hope, each woman must weigh the choices she's madein order to meet the future unfolding before her.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Glenn Close, Cameron Diaz, Calista Flockhart, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman
  • Directors: Rodrigo García
  • Writers: Rodrigo García
  • Producers: Andrew Stevens, Effie Brown, Elie Samaha, Jon Avnet, Lisa Lindstrom
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BKZE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
One evening in the spring of 2000, I was at the movies and saw a poster for Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her. What an interesting title, I thought. And what a cast! I put the movie on my mental list of ones I planned to see. It never played at that theater. It never played in any theater in North America, although it was released in Europe, South America and Japan. Instead, it was sold to a big cable TV movie channel. MGM decided that it was too small a film for American audiences. I think their decision was unfortunate. Many movies intended for a limited audience have successful theatrical runs, and as so-called small movies go, this is an awfully big one. I hope it finds the audience it deserves on video.
Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her does not have a conventional plot. It is five stories or vignettes loosely tied together. As the title implies, they are about women. In the first one, Glenn Close plays a doctor who is successful in her professional life but not in her personal oen. Her rather cold exterior masks the fact that she is starved for affection. It is Close's best role in years. Next we meet Rebecca [Holly Hunter], a bank manager on the edge of forty, whose almost casual decision to have an abortion leads to unexpected emotional complications. There is Rose [Kathy Baker], a single Mom who writes children's books and who does her best at raising her precocious fifteen year old son. She finds herself attracted to her new next-door neighbor, a smart and confident guy who just happens to be a dwarf. Christie [Calista Flockheart] and Lilly [Valeria Golino] are lovers facing one of life's toughest battles.
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Format: DVD
I stumbled across this film on cable and was drawn by the cast, as most people would be when they see this impressive roster of actresses. I must have seen the title of this film, but really did not pay attention to it. Of course, the title is key to this "anthology" field written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia (yes, believe it or not, this film was created by a male of the species). I picked up on this just by noticing how the first "segment" has Christine (Calista Flockhart) give Dr. Keener (Glenn Close) a tarot card reading while the second has Rebecca (Holly Hunter) a series of similarly disquieting encounters with a bag lady (Penelope Allen). Of course, the "who" and the "how" of the "just by looking" is different in each segment of the film, which is just part of the creative brilliance of this film.
"Thing You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her" is not one of those films where the pieces all fit together (e.g, is Robert married to Rebecca's doctor?), although the ending does try to suggest that each of the five main characters (add Kathy Baker as Rose and Amy Brenneman as Kathy to the above referenced actresses) have crossed a major bridge in their lives. Most of the characters appear in more than one segment, symbolism the inherent resonance between segments, and I liked the way one of the characters was both a "looker" and a "lookee" at different times in the film's narrative web. Another major strength of the film is how Garcia always goes off in an unexpected and unusual direction throughout the film. You are constantly surprised by what is happening, not to mention what is being said, which is often outrageously compelling.
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1 Comment 61 of 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
A sensitive and incisive episodic drama that examines loneliness and need, emotional vulnerability and the true meaning of character, "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her," written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, presents a glimpse into the lives of seven women that is not only thoughtful, but filled with some real insights into human nature. Though the stories are independent and unrelated, the film demonstrates how the lives of people can and do overlap, and whether or not they affect one another in any way, there are things these individuals have in common that have to do with relationships or the lack thereof, and is seemingly steeped in pain, despair, indecisiveness and longing. It's a dialogue driven character study that may be the antithesis of a feel-good film, but it's riveting drama that is extremely well presented and acted, and most importantly it is very real and believable and will certainly contain elements to which just about anyone in the audience will be able to relate and identify, because they are so true-to-life.
What you see in this film may not be entirely pleasant, but it provides some thought-provoking, reflective moments that are in some cases veritably transporting, and many that are bound to hit very close to home for many viewers. Garcia seems to have a firm grasp of the female perspective and sensibility, and presents the stories of these women in a way that allows you to empathize with all of them on a number of different levels. And he wisely offsets the drama by infusing a bit of tasteful humor at just the right moments, bittersweet though it may be; without it, the film would have been just too dark, and as it is, it hovers dangerously close to the cusp of the abyss, as he layers one disconcerting situation upon another with little respite.
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1 Comment 22 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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