Ebenezer Scrooge was Pollyanna Whittier compared to yours truly. The Christmas season terrifies me more than anything which could possibly go bump in the night. The only reason I saw "Reckless" at this time of year was because, with Craig Lucas as the screenwriter and Mia Farrow as the star, I was reasonably sure that it would supply a strange and skewed take on the holidays. And it does.
Mia Farrow is a blissful housewife with a wonderful life except for one thing: her husband (Tony Goldwyn) has taken a contract out on her life. Guilt-stricken, he confesses the whole thing to his wife and urges her to escape though the bathroom window before the hired killer turns up. Mia wanders in the snow until she hitches a ride from Scott Glenn, who takes her home to his crippled wife, Mary Louise Parker. Mary Louise also pretends to be a deaf mute so that Scott will stay with her (No, I didn't get it either!) & the sweet couple adopt Mia & make her feel right at home.
So Mia creates a new life for herself at the non-profit organisation where Scott gets her a job & all is well until the next Christmas... Poor Mia. Talk about the Perils of Pauline: this sweet, gentle lady has to put up with everything! She's great in the role, retaining the doll-like sense of innocent wonder that kept audiences rooting for her in "Rosemary's Baby" & "The Purple Rose of Cairo". Scott Glenn, too, does a nice job in a rather whacked out role (for him). And Stephen Dorff makes a brief but affecting appearance as Mia's long-lost son. "Reckless" travels its own weird one-of-a-kind route with the prolific Lucas as tour guide. It isn't exactly a fool-proof antidote for the cheery warmth we're supposed to be feeling the last six weeks of the year, but it beats being anesthetised by the 10,000th broadcast of "It's a Wonderful Life". "Reckless" opens nationally this week.
Copyright 1995 Monica Sullivan
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