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Comedy Movies - Hard Promises

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Hard Promises
Sissy Spacek, William L. Petersen, Mare Winningham
Directed by Martin Davidson
Columbia 1992
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2005
95 minutes

Hard Promises is a light romantic comedy starring Sissy Spacek and William Petersen (of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation fame), which tells the story of a man on the road who receives a wedding invitation from his daughter, Beth. Here s the catch, the wedding is for his wife, Christina (Spacek) and the local car salesman (Brian Kerwin). Joey Coalter (Peterson) rushes home with hopes of stopping the wedding and rekindling the romance.

Although most of the performances are solid (Jeff Perry as Pinky misses the mark), the writing leaves a lot to be desired. Hard Promises is trying to do many things, explore too may ideas.

Is it a movie that is trying to explore a woman' s reconciliation between what she wanted as a high school girl, and what she wants now as a woman? Is it a movie trying to explore the relationship between an absent father and his daughter? Is it a movie that is trying to explore the relationship between a single mother and her daughter? Is it a movie that is trying to explore the impact of the high school football hero on the rest of this small community? Is it a comedy? All of these questions are asked in Hard Promises; however, none of them are answered in a satisfying way. 

There are some funny moments, with neighbors, family members, and a young Petersen demonstrates that he is in really good physical condition (climbing trees, running - A LOT of running), but these moments don't make up for the lack of direction and good writing in this movie.

All in all, Hard Promises is a disappointment which misses the many comedic and story possibilities and leaves you lukewarm.



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