32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Spielberg sends us a message....,
and the message is, "Sometimes, I'm gonna do a film where I just try to entertain you". And entertain it did!
Reviewers of the movie are at odds, either giving it high praise, when they recognize that it is just there to entertain the filmgoer, or calling it dreadful, when they expect every Spielberg movie to be a momentous event of special effects and storytelling. "Catch Me If You Can" is based on the life of a con man, who pulled his crimes as a teenager, and then reformed for the rest of a long life. The story engrosses the watcher, and Spielberg gives the film a light touch, a terrific cast, and fits it all into the eerily real culture of the 60's everyday life with costumes (wardrobe is outstanding), period sets, and a general feeling of wonder (Remember "The Wonder Years"?) that was the true 60's feel, devoid of momentous political events and the inevitable strife caused by war.
DiCaprio is featured as an odd duck, an obsessive compulsive trapped in escalating acts designed to make his father feel that his life is successful. He shows some great naivete, especially in the scene criticized by many with Jennifer Garner, and displays the genial and engaging manner that the real Frank must have had to get away with what he did.
Hanks is another believable work obsessive compulsive who chases him down and forms the nucleus of the nonviolent criminal teams that solve financial crimes in this country every day. Bringing Frank to the FBI feels a little unbelievable, but it DID happen, and it was based on Hanratty's understanding and faith in not only the genius, but also the need of Abagnale to outsmart the world. I'm sure it was a huge
financial success for law enforcement in the real world.
Many seem surprised at the fine flair that Christopher Walken displays as Frank's father, but Walken's career is full of moments like these, where he has flashes of a true craftsman, then does an over the top performance in his next role...kind of a roller coaster ride with this fine performer, you never know what to expect.
The audience clapped in the film I saw, enjoyed the music, had a great time...now that's entertainment! Catch Me If You Can blends light comedy with a background edge of why things turn out the way they do when families dissolve. It may be the most entertaining movie (short of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) of 2002; and although it doesn't deserve to win any awards....
sometimes Spielberg should just entertain us! He's earned it.
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Initial post: Feb 11, 2010 10:13:43 PM PST
S. Gilbert says:
The movie is entertaining, yes, which is the point of many, many movies, but I'm really surprised that so few bothered to give any thought to the underlying social critique the movie offers, suggesting that a period widely viewed as America's golden age was in fact something very different, a time when identity was a mirage and material success a pathetic substitute for real life.
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