The Magic of Belle Isle | Chicago Reader

The Magic of Belle Isle

A bitter, alcoholic novelist (Morgan Freeman) moves into a lakeside cabin to crank out a long-delayed western but spends most of his time bonding with the woman next door (Virginia Madsen) and her three daughters. This hopeless drivel was directed by Rob Reiner, whose classic 80s comedies (This Is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally . . .) now seem like a cruel mirage. Freeman, doing his cuddly curmudgeon routine, struggles to keep the movie afloat, but it lists badly whenever he's paired with little Emma Fuhrmann, overplaying the spunky middle daughter. The sappy music cues subside only when Reiner, desperate to summon up some genuine emotion, resorts to an endless loop of Beethoven's Pathetique. With Fred Willard, Kenan Thompson, and Madeline Carroll.

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