The Accidental Tourist


The Accidental Tourist Review

I hate to travel. And so it's with some level of empathy that I relate to William Hurt's titular character in The Accidental Tourist. The author of travel guide books for people who dislike travel, Hurt's Macon Leary doesn't like much of anything (he avoids the movies because they make everything look to "close up").

After the death of a child and the departure of his wife (Kathleen Turner), Leary's funk seems unstoppable. Enter Muriel (Geena Davis), who starts out training Leary's dog and eventually moves on to training Leary, too. Their unlikely romance comprises the bulk of the movie, as Leary slowly learns how to love through the ministrations of the exceedingly quirky Muriel.

The film is sadly nearly ruined by Turner's breathy performance as a woman who should be sweet yet crushed but comes off as a redux of Body Heat's Matty Walker. Hurt nails the part in a quiet and introspective role that would define his characters for the next 10 years, while Davis's Oscar win would carry her through a lifetime of progressivel more boring performances. Supporting cast like Ed Begley Jr. and David Ogden Stiers nail their roles as Macon's quirky family.

The film is unfortunately start to show its age; Bill Pullman looks about 30 years older now than he did here. Davis's performance is obviously less impressive now in light of her full career. She's just being hammy, and a permanent wave can't disguise that fact. Hurt is the virtuoso, rising above the Lawrence Kasdan histrionics and some loose acting.

The Accidental Tourist

Facts and Figures

Run time: 121 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th January 1989

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: Warner Bros.

Reviews 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: as Macon Leary, as Sarah Leary, as Muriel Pritchett, as Rose Leary, as Porter Leary, as Charles Leary, as Julian