Paradise

For the record, Paradise is a town in Michigan where a young married couple whose child has died take in a little boy, who helps them to get over their grief. Mary Agnes Donoghue wrote and directed this remake of Jean-Loup Hubert's domestically profitable but unmemorable autobiographical French feature Le grand chemin (1987), and while she manages to coax (or at least doesn't interfere with) decent performances from real-life couple Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, her dialogue for the little boy (Elijah Wood) and his tomboy pal (Thora Birch) strains credibility at every turn and her direction of them is correspondingly ham-fisted—a compounded failure that effectively sabotages the picture.

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