Posted by: Pinar Tarhan | September 5, 2009

Griffin and Phoenix


I hate tearjerkers if I think that the storyline has been constructed to try and make the audience cry. You know the type. It feels artificial from the beginning to the end. Of course everyone has a different sense of what feels natural. Some find the love story in Titanic tragically beautiful and I, on the other hand, find it tragically boring. But with Griffin and Phoenix, I found a great emotionally intense drama whose strength came from the powerful acting performances of Dermot Mulroney and Amanda Peet.

Griffin is a guy in his late 30s/early 40s (whatever- he is just too young to die), and he has a terminal illness. He refuses hospitalization and tries to make the best of his remaining days. He makes amends with his two young sons who stay with their mom and stepdad, enjoys fixing his lovely car and being idle in general. One day he attends a conference and meets a young woman named Phoenix. They hit it off, although Phoenix seem indecisive about starting something. However once they start dating, they are inseparable. Phoenix doesn’t know about his condition. One day, she finds out a lot of books on dying and she storms off, outraged. He doesn’t understand what it is all about so refuses to let her go until she says what the problem is. It turns out that Phoenix has cancer, also incurable and she- unaware that he is dying too- thought he was playing some sort of joke on her. They are both crushed to find out the other is also dying. They have already fallen in love and this brings them even closer. So they are determined to make the best of whatever is left of their lives, together…

I love this movie. Yes, I love passionate love stories about couples who just get each other and have fun together and are just there for each other when push comes to shove. This is such a story. If course it is not an original concept. The movie itself is the remake of a 70s movie. But this doesn’t change the fact that it is heart-warming, touching and beautiful: It rises your spirits, restores your faith in love and life yet it upsets you- you have to just wonder why the concept of death exists at all. I am not giving away anything about the ending. But it is just very depressing when death comes so early and at a time when things are just right. The movie is fun, despite the illnesses of the two lead characters. But if a guy comes up and says it is a chick flick, I suggest he goes and has a heart transplant.Oh, and a brain too,while he is at it.




  1. It is hard to believe that this guy is the same guy who starred in My Best Friend’s Wedding. Growing older has definitely worked for him. The performances are also very impressive… Thanks for this lovely post…

  2. Dermot Mulroney has grown up to be a really handsome man and an even more talented actor. I have always thought Amanda Peet is good at drama and comedy. They feed off each other and you just feel their pain and joy…This is a good, underrated movie…

  3. Yeah yeah yeah, he definetely changed…

    But i dont think in a good way ;)

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