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USA 1992
Directed by
Stephen Frears
112 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Accidental Hero

With an echo of Ratso Rizzo in Dustin Hoffman's performance as the chronically-cynical loser, small-time crook and bad dad, Bernard La Plante, who despite himself does a good deed, this satirical comedy is a multi-layered interweaving of statements about human nature, American culture and the media and does it in a completely non-didactic, ceaselessly amusing way. The screenplay is by David Webb Peoples who notched up a number of big screenwriting credits in the 80s and 90s, notably with Blade Runner (1982).  Geena Davis is in fine form as Gayle Gayley, the journalist that Bernard saves from a plane wreck and who falls for Andy Garcia's John Bubber as the vagrant who pretends to have done so, whilst the always-rewarding Joan Cusack plays Bernard's put-upon wife. 

The film didn't do well either at the box office or critically and although it is not easy to accept the well-fed Garcia as a vagrant I'd be willing to offer Accidental Hero as one of the most undeservedly overlooked films of this or any year.  

 

 

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