A funny comedy to those who like dark comedy, The Hotel New Hampshire is the lesser known of the cinematographic adaptations of John Irving's novels. Unlike The World According to Garp with Robin Williams, The Hotel New Hampshire did not do that well in theatres and is not a movie many comedy fans know about. Like The World According to Garp, this adaptation tells a funny story with many dark underpinnings. The Hotel New Hampshire is basically the story of a father, Win Berry, who dreams of owning a hotel because he believes it is how his family will find contentment. Ironically, they do, but only after a few disasters, bombings, deaths and suicides.
Filmed in Montreal, its south shore, and Baie Comeau at Le Grand Hotel Tadoussac, this funny movie but very dark movie features Jodie Foster and Rob Lowe as brothers and sisters in love with each other --one of the many subplots of this movie that also include German anarchists, a revenge scheme, a very short but growing novelist, and the standard gay literary agent.
There is the usual early John Irving stuff floating around in here, as in the novel, such as sexual tension, bears, dark comedy, violence, Germans, a dysfunctional functional on its own terms family, a private school in New England somewhere, forced sexual encounters, homosexuality, some kinky stuff: everything one associates with a comedy.
This is not a movie for kiddies or tweens, it is a movie for older teenagers with a dark bent and adults who are not overly sensitive or brainwashed by the politically correct climate we live in.
The Hotel New Hampshire is a very funny movie with some very funny moments but if you like your comedy sugarcoated, pass. If you like your comedy with an adult bent, a bit of a dark, sarcastic, and caustic take on life, definitely watch, rent, or buy this dvd. There are no extras on this dvd. The studio probably figured the movie didn't do that well in theatres so why bother.
Still, MGM labels it as a "Contemporary Classic", whatever that oxymoron means, and the marketing genius behind that isn't wrong this time. Some may argue The Hotel New Hampshire is an acquired taste, so be it, but you can't acquire a taste unless you actually taste it.