HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  White Palace Heaven Knows What They'd Call Her These Days
Year: 1990
Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander, Kathy Bates, Eileen Brennan, Steven Hill, Rachel Chagall, Corey Parker, Renée Taylor, Jonathan Penner, Barbara Howard, Kim Myers, Hildy Brooks, Mitzi McCall, K.C. Carr, Maria Pitillo, Jeremy Piven
Genre: RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Max Baron (James Spader) has been invited to a bachelor party of a good friend of his, but he doesn't feel as if he can really enjoy himself, and when he gets there to discover the restaurant that delivered the burgers has messed up their order, he sees a way out and insists on going back to the establishment and demanding a refund, his pals telling him he should let it go and it doesn't really matter. When he arrives at the White Palace diner, he gets into an argument with the waitress, Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon), but she eventually senses he is sincere and gives him the money back; after returning to the party, he is reminded of the reason he is so out of sorts, and ends up drowning his sorrows alone in a bar...

Which just so happens to be the bar where Nora is, also drinking alone, and she attempts to reconcile by chatting Max up, much to his bemusement. This was a film which posited a May to September romance is not an impossibility, and though it was compared to The Graduate thanks to the age difference between the two lovers, that film was very much sceptical about such a relationship prospering (or indeed any relationship), and White Palace, drawn from Glenn Savan's novel, was more optimistic. If anything, it wasn't the age difference that threatened the couple, it was their class difference, with Max the upper middle and Nora the working, which gives rise to an important question: how do they prevent embarrassment?

What was novel here was that in a Hollywood movie it was not so unusual for the leading lady to be younger than the leading man, sometimes significantly, which spoke to a certain sexism in the industry. This saw White Palace welcomed as a breath of fresh air in some quarters, and it assuredly courted the female demographic who were perhaps not as young as they used to be, though that was not to say they neglected everyone but them. The trouble was, in presentation the film behaved as if this connection between the two partners was somehow shocking and daring, when it might have been more effective if it had simply accepted it as a matter of course, and explored the attraction that way.

There was a touch of the soap opera about the plotline and especially the dialogue that was just about rescued by some keen acting from Sarandon and Spader, who came across as very comfortable in the message of allowing love to blossom even in the less likely circumstances, and they had a nice chemistry with each other, Spader's preppy quality here channelled into something more sympathetic than he had played throughout the nineteen-eighties, basically an entitled cad. As for Sarandon, she played up a Southern accent and embraced the earthiness required to convince us that Max would be drawn to Nora on a sexual level (the actual sex scenes were particularly lusty, to the point of parody in some moments), but also that he would find great affection for her when he realised they had more in common than he might expect.

That was down to Max having lost his wife at an early age, and still struggling to get over it, while Nora has lost her son, so similarly bereaved they decide they can comfort each other as much as they satisfy each other physically. The main issue is that shame, where Max cannot admit to his social circle that he is seeing a woman seventeen years older than he is, and who works as a waitress, though there's a growing hint that his friends would be a lot more accepting than either he or Nora would care to admit. The poster for White Palace showed Spader burying his face in Sarandon's bosom, playing up the raunch angle, but it was actually more interested in this reconciliation between two such different people, and how pleasing it was they would find such succour in one another's company. It was far too hung up on itself to be judged a complete success, but the two leads and some sympathetic performances from a supporting cast who included Eileen Brennan and Katy Bates (the women were the sounding boards for how we should react) contributed to the overall sincerity. Music by George Fenton (which does get unnecessarily cheesy).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1914 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: