I don't feel inclined to rate this movie.

The Ice Storm (R)
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This came out in 1997, and I think I must have seen it on TV sometime in the late 90s or early 2000s, but by the time I watched it on DVD in 2023, I didn't remember anything about it. It failed to make its budget back at the box office, but it did well critically. And I can understand both those things, because I'm really not sure how I feel about it. Like, I recognize its quality as a drama or whatever, but I wasn't wild about it. I thought it was just okay, but maybe a bit boring, at least some of the time. It has a great cast, though. Before I re-watched the movie, I thought I'd put my review under "holiday movies", but Thanksgiving actually plays a pretty minor role in the movie, so I went with "period pieces", though there are also some "coming of age" elements to it. I did at least watch it on Thanksgiving, though.

It's set in Connecticut in 1973. There is a bit of narration by a 16-year-old boy named Paul (Tobey Maguire), though he's a secondary or maybe even tertiary character. I guess he attends a boarding school, but he's coming home for Thanksgiving. His parents are Ben (Kevin Kline) and Elena (Joan Allen), and he has a 14-year-old sister named Wendy (Christina Ricci), though Paul and Wendy both call each other "Charles". Ben is having an affair with their neighbor, Janey (Sigourney Weaver), who is married to Jim, with whom she has a teenage son named Mikey (Elijah Wood) and a younger son named Sandy. Wendy and Mikey have been experimenting with kissing and stuff, but Sandy has a major crush on Wendy, and she eventually... does some inappropriate things with him. Oh, and I got the impression that Mikey might have high functioning Autism, but I'm not really sure. On the night after Thanksgiving, Paul goes to New York to see a girl named Libbets (Katie Holmes), who goes to his boarding school, and in whom he is romantically interested. But when he gets there, he finds that his roommate, Francis (David Krumholtz) is already there, and he has a history of sleeping with the girls that Paul likes. So that's awkward. Meanwhile, Ben and Elena are having marital problems because she suspects him of having an affair with Janey, and as I've already said, she's right. But they attend a party at the house of their friend Dot (Allison Janney), which turns out to be a key party. So that's pretty awkward, too.

Well, there's more stuff that happens (including the titular ice storm), but I don't want to spoil any of it. I'll just say there's nothing really happy about the movie, and the ending is the unhappiest part of all. I do think it's a good movie, I'm glad to have seen it again, and I'll hold onto the DVD in case I ever want to watch it a third time. But it's not a fun watch, by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose it bears evaluation for its themes, but... I'm not inclined to do that. So it's a good thing I'm not a professional film critic. I'd say it has a good musical score, though.

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