The Cider House Rules

Bomb Rating: 

Poor John Irving. If you didn't already know, John has had a really difficult time getting his books made into movies, so much so that he's written a book detailing the horrific experiences as if we were supposed to feel sorry for him. Gee, I've written these best-selling books but it's taking too long to get them made into films. Boo hoo. Let me cancel that check to Habitat for Humanity and send it to you, John. This one took a whole thirteen years to get made. After "The World According to Garp," "Simon Birch," and now this film, perhaps Irving isn't considering one very important probability: His stories are major downers and nobody wants to watch them.

If I had wanted to be really depressed I would have just poured beef drippings on my penis and stuck it through the chain link fence separating me and my neighbor's two pit bulls. Instead, I get to watch Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire) discover that the world is a cruel, cruel place, love is a fleeting thing, and one should just stay at home. Homer grows up in an orphanage during the 1930s and '40s under the tutelage of Dr. Larch -- who's played by Michael Caine, doing the worst American accent I've ever heard. You watch the film thinking, "Does Michael Caine have a cold? Maybe he should blow his nose."

Homer leaves the orphanage, much to the displeasure of Dr. Larch. It doesn't seem like Homer travels all that far, but since Dr. Larch never steps outside the doors of the orphanage, the tool shed would seem a long way away. Homer's traveling companions are Candy (Charlize Theron) and Wally Worthington (Paul Rudd), who have visited the orphanage because Dr. Larch, in addition to taking care of everyone, also performs abortions. He and Homer don't see eye to eye on the abortion issue. I recommend standing up in the middle of the film and yelling, "Dr. Larch, you pro-choice scumbag! Come outside where the Snipers for Jesus can draw a good bead on you!" See if you can't start a riot.

Naturally Candy and Homer end up sleeping together because Candy is the only woman he ever meets who seems worth sleeping with. Wally goes off to war and Candy and Homer get busy. Homer also becomes an apple picker where he gets to meet actual black people like Mr. Rose (Delroy Lindo). Having traveled a couple hours from the orphanage and obtained his worldly experience as a slave-wage apple picker, Homer quickly learns that, in general, worldly experiences pretty much suck.

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