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USA 1992
Directed by
Stephen Frears
112 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Accidental Hero

With an echo of Ratso Rizzo in Dustin Hoffman's winning 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, generally amusing way.

The screenplay is by David Webb Peoples who notched up a number of big screenwriting credits in the 1980s and '90s, notably with Blade Runner (1982). Geena Davis is in fine form as Gayle Gayley, the career journalist who has a pressing need to find good in human nature, who 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, for me at least, and it does appear to be only me, Accidental Hero, is a neatly made and often amusing film that deserved a better reception. 




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