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Filmstubs:Wonder Boys (2000)

n English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in. (R, 107 min.)


Wednesday, September 11, 2024


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In this comedy, a middle-aged man juggles his problems with women, literature, and a career, while a younger man chases the artifact of his dreams. Pittsburgh college professor Grady Tripp (Michael Douglas) is currently single following his divorce from his third wife; after publishing an acclaimed first novel, Grady has been working on a follow-up, but he's been sidelined by a severe case of writer's block. Grady has more than his writing career to think about; his affair with one of the (married) chancellors at the University of Pittsburgh (Frances McDormand), has resulted in her pregnancy, while Hannah (Katie Holmes), a student boarding at Grady's house, has developed a crush on him. While Grady is obsessed with his book, one of his students (Tobey Maguire) has an obsession of his own: finding a jacket once owned by Marilyn Monroe. Based on the novel by Michael Chabon, The Wonder Boys also features Robert Downey Jr., Rip Torn, and Richard Thomas. [Parmount]

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Jr., Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Katie Holms
Director: Curtis Hanson
Genre(s): Comedy, Drama

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"Smart and funny."

— Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News

"Funny and touching."

— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"The overall effect is like opening a present on Christmas morning."

— Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

"A handsomely mounted, graceful production that is well-played across the board."

— Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"One of the most joyous, diverting and original mainstream American movies in years."

— Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian

"Wonder Boys doesn't hit you over the head--its wackiness as well as its humanity slips up on you, catches you off guard."

— David Ansen, Newsweek

"Massively inventive, Wonder Boys is spiked with fresh, perverse humor that flows naturally from the straight-faced playing."

— Emanuel Levy, Variety

"Michael Douglas digs deep and delivers one of his best performances in Wonder Boys -- a comic dazzler of roguish wit and touching gravity that is driven by characters, not jokes."

— Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"A giddy delight, with Michael Douglas delivering what may be the most relaxed and inventive performance of his career, and Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr. trailing not far behind."

— John Hartl,

"Michael Douglas gives the best performance of his career in this screwball comedy about a college professor who's pushed into maturity by forces beyond his control; a well-acted coming-of-age saga for adults."

— Emanuel Levy, Variety