A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Blind is a drama that reunites Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore for the first time since 1996's The Juror, and that it is unlikely to appeal to teens, given its content and themes. Here, the two actors play a white-collar criminal's wife (Moore) and a blind author (Baldwin) who slowly bond over court-mandated read-to-the-blind sessions. Directed by Michael Mailer based on a script by his brother, John Buffalo Mailer (both are sons of best-selling author Norman Mailer), the movie has frequent strong language (mostly "f--k" and "f--king," but also "s--t," "cripple," etc.). There's also a surprising amount of violence (mostly beatings at the hands of Dylan McDermott's character) and some racy moments (kissing, cleavage, shots of a couple right before and the morning after implied sex), as well as adultery.
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What's the story?
BLIND starts off as the story of rich, penthouse-dwelling New Yorker Suzanne Dutchman (Demi Moore), who has a seemingly loving husband, Mark (Dylan McDermott). But when Mark is accused of illegal financial practices, Suzanne is arrested, too, because their joint account received the ill-gotten profits of his crooked dealings. Pleading no knowledge of Mark's business, Suzanne is sentenced to community service hours, while her husband awaits trial in prison. Suzanne's court-mandated volunteer work is to take the form of reading to the blind -- in her case, best-selling author Bill Oakland (Alec Baldwin), who became blind after a tragic car accident, which also killed his wife. As a creative writing professor, Bill needs volunteers to read him his students' assignments. At first, acerbic, truth-telling Bill and lady-who-lunches Suzanne can't stand each other, but as they continue to spend time together, their bond turns into romance.
Is it any good?
Part romance and part white-collar crime thriller, with a smattering of inspirational-teacher drama, this is a well-acted but utterly forgettable New York melodrama about second chances. It's unclear whether audiences even remember that Baldwin and Moore made a movie together before, so the fact that they're re-teaming isn't exactly as compelling as it might be if Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, or Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams paired up on screen again. These days, Baldwin is an A-list comedic actor thanks to his work on 30 Rock and SNL, while Moore is still best known for her work in past decades. Neither is particularly well-served by this mediocre drama, which is too scattered to tell a compelling story.
Blind disappoints from the thriller angle, since there's no satisfying comeuppance for McDermott's Mark, whose character gets darker and more violent as the movie progresses. There's also not much closure regarding two younger protégés, who are as different as the men they admire: Mark's spying, sycophantic Wall Street wannabe (Drew Moerlein) and Bill's aspiring-writer student (Steven Prescod, a real-life spoken-word artist). Prescod and Baldwin's interactions (including one amusing, Karate Kid-like moment of cleaning as instruction) would have made for a better movie than the formulaic romance at Blind's messy heart. Ultimately most of the characters here are more cliché than fully developed, especially Suzanne, who seems too unbelievably naive to be a Manhattan socialite.
Talk to your kids about ...
What are the movie's messages? Do you agree with its position on cheating and adultery?
Why do you think it's so rare for Hollywood leading men and women to be over 50 -- or for older actors to be paired with women the same age as them?
- In theaters: July 14, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: August 15, 2017
- Cast: Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore, Dylan McDermott
- Director: Michael Mailer
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language including some sexual references, and brief drug use
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