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Day 19, Movie 19 – The Fisher King – I Like New York In June

It took me a few days to really start watching The Fisher King. I kept stopping and starting the movie. And stopping and starting and stopping and starting. Once I got past whatever initial reservations I had, I found The Fisher King to be mostly charming.

The movie has a bit of romance, a bit of drama, a bit of slapstick, and a bit of Arthurian legend. (So, really Terry Gilliam is the one director who can make this all work.)

Jeff Bridges is Jack Lucas, a radio DJ whose on air rant inadvertently causes a mass killing at a New York City restaurant. Three years later, Jack encounters a homeless man, Parry (Robin Williams) who is searching for the Holy Grail. Jack is reluctant to be near Parry until he learns that Parry’s wife was killed in the diner shooting, leaving Parry in a catatonic state for several years. Jack and Parry begin an unlikely friendship as Jack tries to help Parry find love with Lydia (Amanda Plummer) a shy accountant he has admired from afar.

Despite its charm (there is a lot) The Fisher King borders dangerously on too showy thanks to the direction and too long thanks to the screenplay. When Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges share a scene or when Mercedes Ruehl steals the entire movie is when The Fisher King is best.

And then there is greatness when the fantasy, comedy and romance come together with glimpses of New York City at its finest. That is when The Fisher King is a wonderful revelation.

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