Video Review

Paradise (1992)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
EW's GRADE
C

Details Movie Rated: PG-13; Genre: Drama; With: Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson and Elijah Wood; Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

In this mediocre remake of the 1987 French hit Le Grand Chemin, Don Johnson plays a simple shrimper in a town called Paradise, and Melanie Griffith is his homebody wife who sews her own clothes. Their marriage is clouded by the accidental death of their son, but their love comes shining through again when a friend's boy (Elijah Wood) comes to stay. In her directorial debut, screenwriter Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches) slathers on the sentimentality. And just in case her greeting-card dialogue and pensive porch-sitting shots are too subtle, there's always the film's overblown score to trumpet every tender moment. Still, real-life spouses Johnson and Griffith have the knowing edge of the long married, and Thora Birch is particularly charming as the neighborhood tomboy. Essentially a TV movie with big names, Paradise seems right at home on video.

Originally posted Mar 27, 1994 Published in issue #111 Mar 27, 1992 Order article reprints