At First Sight

Bomb Rating: 

Irwin Winkler should stick to producing, because the films he's directedare so full of in-your-face moralizing that you pray his death somehow involves Jehovah's witnesses, Dr. Laura (clothed) and an exploding Bible.

Notice how spasmodically happy Virgil Adamson (Val Kilmer) is. The guy is blind and his job is to give massages to depressed nude women. No wonder the guy smiles all the time. "Oh sorry, are those your breasts, I can't see a thing. " "Pardon me, I should have known that wasn't my pet bunny when you let out that yelp." "Please accept my apology, ma'am, I would have sworn I set my Popsicle down right there."

So along comes Amy (Mira Sorvino). She and Virgil fall in love and she convinces Virgil to have an eye operation that restores his sight. Suddenly, he can see and he's miserable. First of all, he's not feeling breasts and buttocks all day. Who wouldn't be miserable? However, Winkler is trying to make the point that a handicap isn't necessarily a handicap if it's not defined by a loss. He's saying that poor people don't need money, because they've never known what it was like to be rich. Thank God. Now I can go buy that fifty-inch television, donate the cardboard box to the homeless, and still feel good about myself because I didn't alter the life they so obviously love.

The movie is based on a story by Oliver Sacks, who also had the movie "Awakenings" based on one of his stories. "At First Sight" is such a carbon-copy of "Awakenings" that you'd be well-advised to bring your alarm clock. No character in this film seems capable of a complex thought, and you soon realize that -- true to the film's theme -- they'd all have fared better having never met, and you'd have fared better having never seen it.

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