How To Make an American Quilt Movie Review

I am dumbfounded about where to begin writing about this experiment-in-filmmaking-gone-terribly-wrong, How To Make an American Quilt. Some of the best actresses working in film (Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Winona Ryder, Jean Simmons, Lois Smith, Samantha Mathis, and Claire Danes, to name a few) appear in this movie. And I can't begin to imagine how such a wide array of talents agreed to appear in such a dreadful picture.

Ryder plays the cheeky Finn, a precocious grad student pondering a marriage proposal. Having second thoughts, she decides to spend the summer with a gaggle of quilting relatives and their friends, just to sort things out. Well, we see right off the bat that this probably wasn't such a great idea, because each and every one of these people is completely insane.

For some bizarre, sadistic motive, each of the ladies begins to tell Finn the warped story of her life, wherein we have the luxury of viewing cutesy flashbacks which inevitably include adultery, self-pity, insecurity, more adultery, pathetic whining, and/or a lot of just plain bad advice. And get this: all this so-called "wisdom" is the "theme" for the latest quilt they're working on--Finn's wedding quilt.

After an O.D. of this idiocy, Finn is driven into the arms of Leon (Johnathon Schaech), a muscle headed loser with no redeeming qualities. When she feels bad about it later, one of the quilters (don't even bother trying to keep them straight, as some 8 zillion characters are introduced in the first 5 minutes) advises her to never tell her fiancee about the affair. Well, how comforting.

Maybe I didn't get it because I'm just a guy. Maybe I just don't understand "quilt humor." But this film is simply awful. The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with the acting; it's the story and the actresses' parts. (I do give Bancroft and Smith a few kudos for making me laugh...twice.) Director Jocelyn Moorhouse and especially screenwriter Jane Anderson should both be blacklisted.

Be warned, stay away from this one. If this is really how to make an American quilt, I'll just sleep on the floor covered with a burlap sack.

Comments

How To Make an American Quilt Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG-13, 1995

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