Two's Views Film Review
by: Mary Baker & J. C. Adamson

Corrina, Corrina


Director: Jessie Nelson 
Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Ray Liotta, Tina Majorino, Don Ameche 
A widower and his daughter get unexpected help going through the grief process from a pseudo-housekeeper, counselor, intellectual and music aficionado, who happens to be black. 

J. C.


Mary: I heard you crying during Corrina and I did too. It was another one of THOSE films, the kind that manipulates your emotions, and you're not sure if you like it or not. I don't think I liked being manipulated.

Also, after recently seeing Forrest Gump, I'm not sure I wanted to take another trip down memory lane, so soon. There's a lot of nostalgia in this movie. The past seems to be a big part of film these days.

JC: Nostalgia, Schmostalgia, to paraphrase a friend of mine, and fellow reviewer. My crying is no measure of anything; I've been known to sob at McDonald's commercials.

While watching Corrina, Corrina, I was enjoying it. When I left the screening, I thought of it as a pretty good film. Twenty-four hours later, I couldn't remember why. That tells me you're right about the manipulation. It's an unashamed tearjerker, without significant cinematic or literary value. Corrina, Corrina is another movie that might have been.

Mary: Maybe we shouldn't be so hasty. There are some good aspects of the film, like Tina Majorino as the grief stricken little Molly. We have seen her recently in When A Man Loves A Woman. She is becoming a real pro in the movie business.

Most of the film was sappy, but this little girl literally brought some quiet dignity to the story. I always seem to enjoy Ray Liotta of Goodfellas fame. Here he plays Molly's father, Manny Singer. He is one of those actors I just like to look at. I couldn't tell you if he was exactly good; I just like him. Besides, he's from New Jersey.

JC: You sound like I did after seeing French actress Florence Darel in A La Mode. Gorgeous, and I think she could act. But you're right about Tina Majorino. I credit writer/director Jessie Nelson with keeping it real. She didn't do as well directing the rest of the kids though. Some of the child scenes were just too cute.

This film is all story. And the story is well done. But, neither Whoopi Goldberg as Corrina, nor Liotta deliver outstanding performances. They're certainly good enough to support the plot, but I felt like I was seeing Whoopi be Whoopi, more than I was learning about the heart of Corrina.

Mary: This seems to be a problem with Whoopi. Not since Color Purple have I really seen what I would call acting. It is difficult to separate her film persona from the real person when all her characters on film are so much alike. It doesn't seem to be a case of typecasting, but she sure is playing the same wise, funny character over and over again.

JC: As for the nostalgia, I like mine to be accurate. After all, I'm old enough that I was there! I may not be able to remember where I put my glasses just now, but I can remember that there was not a U. S. Surgeon General in the fifties. The Public Health Service linked cigarette smoking with lung cancer in 1958, but the Surgeon General's report didn't happen until 1979. Twenty-one years is a big mistake. I guess they did it just so Molly could call him the "Search-Me General" charming.

Since the Hula Hoop is also a supporting character, and it came out in 1958, that must be the year the movie was supposed to be set. I didn't see any '58 or '59 automobiles, though. Manny drives a pre-'53 Chevy, and his deceased wife's car is a '55 or '56. Not fitting for a successful commercial music composer.

Mary: Well as Forrest Gump would say, "Old is, as old does, sir."


1996, J. C. Adamson & Mary Baker

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