"Prince of Tides" Review

“Prince of Tides” Review

Acting was excellent. Costuming, sets were excellent. Plot, for the most part, was excellent. Movie stunk.

I know it’s an old movie, but I saw it for the first time last night. Nick Nolte plays a troubled father, Tom, avoiding dealing with traumatic childhood. When his sister attempts suicide, her psychiatrist Dr. Lowenstein (Barbara Streisand) wants to interview Nick to find out what makes sister tick.

That central plot was excellent. Nick’s got some real issues his sister is also dealing with, including a ruthless, unloving father, a manipulative mother, and a traumatic home invasion. Subplots of Lowenstein’s son, caught in a conflict between football and violin practice, Lowenstein’s ruthless husband, and Tom’s troubles sharing his feelings with his wife but not his daughters, are all excellent.

But you want to feel empathy for the main characters in a movie, but the movie spits up there. Lowenstein ends up sleeping with Tom (professional ethics of a psychiatrist sleeping with a patient aren’t even discussed). That’s ok with Tom, because Tom’s wife is sleeping with some motorcyclist. Lowenstein’s husband is sleeping with his pianist. The only other relationship ever shown is a gay neighbor. There wasn’t one example of any healthy relationships, but worse, when they portrayed the adulterous relationships, they were always shown as some beautiful, natural thing, especially if your spouse is already cheating. Then, on top of all the adultery going on, they take a potshot at God in the middle for no particular reason.

Eventually Tom goes back to his wife, which makes the psychiatrist miserable, but Tom decides that even though he’ll sleep with his wife, he’ll continue to love the psychiatrist. In other words, he ends up doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

This could have been an excellent movie with just a few tweaks. Tom and the psychiatrist could have drawn strength from each other without sleeping with each other, and the affair Tom’s wife had could have been eliminated completely. Just dealing with the issues of Tom’s past and how he works through forgiveness of himself and his mother and father would have been a powerful story in itself


4 thoughts on “"Prince of Tides" Review

  1. Well if you had read the book as I’m doing right now you would understand more about the complexities of these relationships. From your description of the movie it seemed to miss all the main points of life,love, family and happiness that Pat Connroy seemed to emphasize in this book. They couldn’t just cut out Tom’s wife having an affair because thats why Tom has to do his soul-searching in New York. He has to piece himself back together as well as his sister. Also, it sounds to me that they got the worst people to play the main characters in this movie. Barabra Streiand can’t act her way out of a paper bag and needs to go to acting School with Ben Assfleck! Nik Nolte was a horrible choice to play Tom because Tom is supposed to look handsome, fit, and fatherly. Nick Nltle looks like none of those!


  2. They are lost within themselves. They lost that “spark” as it were. It seems that they are missing a piece of their lives and by having an affair they are trying to piece themselves back together. They need to find what they lost from themselves to get their spouse to stop loving them and have an affair.


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