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Personal Effects

Personal Effects

4.0 1
Director: David Hollander, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ashton Kutcher, Kathy Bates

Cast: David Hollander, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ashton Kutcher, Kathy Bates


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Ashton Kutcher stars as a broken man who sets off on a vengeance-filled search for his sister's murderer, only to fall into the arms of a gorgeous older woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) who may share the same torment in this romantic drama from Insight Studios. TV veteran David


Ashton Kutcher stars as a broken man who sets off on a vengeance-filled search for his sister's murderer, only to fall into the arms of a gorgeous older woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) who may share the same torment in this romantic drama from Insight Studios. TV veteran David Hollander directs from his own script.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Personal Effects is one of those heavy-handed, overwrought dramas where all the characters are suffering some kind of loss, and there's a good chance their interactions are headed toward an operatic tragedy in the third act. Its problems start with Ashton Kutcher, whose attempt at playing serious falls flat. Kutcher's body language is stiff and self-conscious, and his best approach to playing taciturn involves speaking in monosyllables, then occasionally stumbling over big words like a shy 10-year-old. Much of the time he just looks like he's trying to do long division in his head. Michelle Pfeiffer comes off more professionally, but there's something icky about the relationship that develops between her character and Kutcher's -- Pfeiffer is yet five years older than Demi Moore, the December half of Kutcher's real-life May-December romance. (The similarities to Kutcher's real-world circumstances should help his performance, but don't.) Kathy Bates also turns in one of her weaker performances as the mother of Kutcher's Walter. But the real problems with Personal Effects rest with writer-director David Hollander, whose approach is unsubtle to the point of confrontational. Even though he cuts back on the wooden narration as the plot moves forward, he still favors awkward mid-level close-ups and characters looking straight into the camera, as well as a lot of soft focus and rack focus. Personal Effects does find a moment or two that challenge our assumptions, particularly how the characters make peace or fail to make peace with possibly not getting legal satisfaction in the trials for their murdered loved ones, whose loss is driving their grief. Still, for this movie to work, viewers need to feel these characters' grief, because the movie has successfully generated sympathy for them. This is simply not the case, and both the actors and the director should be blamed.

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Special Features

Behind the scenes

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michelle Pfeiffer Actor
Ashton Kutcher Walter
Kathy Bates Gloria
Brian Markinson Actor
Anna Mae Routledge Actor
Spencer Hudson Actor

Technical Credits
David Hollander Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Christian Arnold-Beutel Executive Producer
Kim Arnott Executive Producer
Lori Jane Coleman Editor
Elliot Davis Cinematographer,Co-producer
Candice Elzinga Casting
Johan Johannsson Score Composer
Jóhann Jóhansson Score Composer
Lindsay MacAdam Executive Producer
Tim McGrath Executive Producer
Gil Netter Producer
Renee Read Production Designer
Judy Ruskin-Howell Costumes/Costume Designer
Kirk Shaw Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Personal Effects
1. Chapter 1 [5:47]
2. Chapter 2 [5:59]
3. Chapter 3 [3:53]
4. Chapter 4 [4:06]
5. Chapter 5 [3:36]
6. Chapter 6 [4:45]
7. Chapter 7 [7:57]
8. Chapter 8 [5:45]
9. Chapter 9 [6:11]
10. Chapter 10 [6:28]
11. Chapter 11 [6:18]
12. Chapter 12 [4:40]
13. Chapter 13 [7:57]
14. Chapter 14 [6:06]
15. Chapter 15 [8:11]
16. Chapter 16 [4:19]
17. Chapter 17 [6:43]
18. Chapter 18 [5:59]
19. Chapter 19 [1:11]
20. Chapter 20 [4:12]

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Personal Effects 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
PERSONAL EFFECTS is a solid little film written by director David Hollander and the fine novelist Rick Moody. The premise is a study of how the traumatic deaths of people affect those left behind. The story is well told, allows the audience to explore the group therapy approach offered to families of violently killed people - the various means of responding to loss, the differing reactions from those who cannot let go of the hate they have for losing a loved one, and introduces an interesting concept of having one of the characters who narrates the film be a deaf mute young man! Gloria (Kathy Bates) is the mother of twins - the girl was been brutalized and murdered and the boy Andrew (Ashton Kuchter) has left his career as a wrestler to return to the scene of the crime to mourn his sister and to demand the perpetrator be convicted and imprisoned: his career has been put on hold and he ekes out a living dressed as a chicken for a fast food chicken restaurant. During the ongoing twin's trial, Andrew meets Linda (Michelle Pfeiffer) whose alcoholic husband has been killed and she is left to support her teenage deaf mute son Clay (Spencer Hudson). Through series of grieving meetings and periods of isolation on the part of each of the characters, each finds ways to support the other and a love affair develops between the older Linda and the younger Andrew as he agrees to accompany her to her various weddings for which she serves a planner. How these characters comes to grips with resolution of their losses is well tied together by film's end. This is not a great movie, but the performances by the leads are quite fine. This is a movie with a message, one that delves into territory with which many are not familiar, and for that reason alone it is well worth watching. Grady Harp