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The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its centennial celebration. Oil prices are down, banks are failing, and Duane's $12 million in debt. His wife Karla drinks too much, his children are always in trouble, and he tom-cats around with the wives of friends. Jacy's back in town, after a mildly successful acting career, life in Italy, and the death of her son. People assume Duane and Jacy will resume their high school romance. And Sonny is "tired in his mind," causing worries for his safety. Can these friends find equilibrium in middle age?Written by
Some worthwhile performances here. The film does suffer from comparisons to "The Last Picture Show". That film was astonishing in its originality and has become iconic. "Texasville" neither aims so high, nor lands so hard. Nonetheless, the whole atmosphere of sadness calls to mind TLPS, as does the lack of a musical score, the only background being radios or whatever that the characters also hear. The adult characters, who were teen-agers in TLPS never seem to have grown up. At all. As Ebert said, I wonder what Sam the Lion would think of all these people. I seem to have missed all the sex going on in the '50's (OK wasn't born yet) and missed it again in the 80's. Maybe I'll catch that train SOMEDAY.
Jeff Bridges put in a great performance here, just as he always does. He never seems to play a character you don't believe. This in films as disparate as this one, "The Fabulous Baker Boys", and, say, "The Big Lebowski". Cybill Shepherd was very good and very beautiful. It probably took some amount of courage for a former model/beauty queen to take this role, that explicitly compares her middle-aged looks to her youthful pulchritude. I thought she still looked great. (But then, I'm middle-aged) Cloris Leachman showed her dramatic talent to wonderful effect. But, saving the best for last, I thought Annie Potts basically stole the show. She was gorgeous, and she so totally nailed her character. Acting doesn't get much better than this.
Anyone who liked TLPS (and that's almost everyone) should see this sequel. But don't carry into it unrealistic expectations.
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