In the romantic comedy and tragedy BOUNCE, Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow
play Buddy and Abby, two lovers who are living mutual lies. Abby is a widow
who hides behind claims to be a divorcee, and Buddy is a man with strong but
secret bonds to Abby. He "accidentally" meets her while trying to buy
commercial real estate.
Written and directed by Don Roos, BOUNCE has none of the sharply written
edginess of his last film, THE OPPOSITE OF SEX. With a plot and tone
vaguely reminiscent of RANDOM HEARTS, starring Harrison Ford and Kristin
Scott Thomas, BOUNCE concerns two people affected by the aftermath of an
At a Chicago airport bar on a snowy night, Buddy meets Abby's husband, Greg
(Tony Goldwyn). Buddy generously gives Greg his Infinity Airlines ticket so
that Greg can make it home to be with his son. This last flight out that
night ends in a cataclysmic fireball that kills everyone onboard. An
unrecognizable Jennifer Grey (DIRTY DANCING) plays the airline clerk who
lets Greg on with Buddy's ticket.
Ironically, Buddy is an ad executive working on the Infinity Airlines
account. Full of guilt for not dying, he resents the airline's schmaltzy ad
series, "We Remember," that memorializes the victims and honors their
families. Turning to booze to drown his sorrows, he hits bottom in a
drunken stupor when he accepts an advertising award for the ad series. "We
crashed; we're humble; and we're ready to sell some tickets," he tells the
stunned crowd in his acceptance speech before passing out on stage.
After some time in a rehab clinic, he looks up Abby, hoping to do something
nice for her financially in order to atone for his perceived sins. She
turns out to be a nervous and ditzy real estate agent. Smoking badly, she
explains that she is only doing it to cure her addiction to the anti-smoking
gum that she got hooked on while trying to support a friend. An unhappy
type, Abby says things like, "if you grade on a curve, I'm happy," talking
as much to herself as to others.
Buddy and Abby's awkward friendship and eventual love affair are pleasant
enough but never particularly engaging. Their first date is to a baseball
game in which the large scoreboard displays the slogan, "Make some noise."
The actors would have served the audience better if they had heeded that
Even if it isn't quite worth recommending, the film does have its moments,
especially its funnier ones. "Guys screw up," Abby's friend explains to her
when she is about to give up on Buddy after learning his secret. "It's in
his manual, right after love your grill and leave sox on the floor." But,
when the movie tries to be a tear-jerker, it leaves you dry-eyed and feeling
BOUNCE runs 1:46. It is rated PG-13 for some language and sensuality and
would be acceptable for kids around 11 and up.
Copyright © 2000 Steve Rhodes