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Movie Review

Previews for Home Fries suggest that a mild-mannered hunk takes a fast-food job simply to be near the sweet-spirited darling who cheerfully filled his drive-thru order. The encounter leads to friendship and true love, right? Not without some extremely dark wrinkles. Imagine viewers' shock when, in the opening scene, an attack helicopter intentionally forces a man's car off the road and the pilots scare him to death. Literally.

We soon learn the victim was cheating on his Machiavellian wife and it was her sons from a previous marriage, Dorian and Angus, who dusted dear old dad. Fearing their radio chatter may have been overheard by Sally, the Burger-Matic drive-thru girl, they decide Dorian (Luke Wilson) should start working there to find out how much she knows. He learns more than he bargained for. Sally (Drew Barrymore) turns out to be his late step-father's pregnant mistress-a secret the smitten Dorian must guard when his psychotic brother becomes obsessed with ferreting out and murdering the mysterious "other woman."

To the film's credit, Home Fries cooks up a relationship between two good-hearted leads, making it easy to root for Dorian and Sally to rise above their bizarre circumstances. Past indiscretions notwithstanding, the kind, selfless Sally (a churchmouse in red curls) regrets her sexual naivety, has refused to abort the child and longs to be "a very good mother." Likewise, Dorian is chivalrous and sensitive despite his genes. He opposes the insane bloodlust consuming Angus and Mom, and ultimately risks his life to protect Sally and her baby.

The movie also advocates honesty in relationships and shows how alcohol can make people act stupidly. But these pluses can't overcome frequent profanity, blasphemous uses of God's name and some truly warped humor penned by The X-Files' Vince Gilligan. Producer Mark Johnson sums up his film best: "We have a romance between these two likable characters and yet, watching it all, it's sometimes anything but romantic."

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Drew Barrymore, Luke Wilson, Catherine O'Hara, Jake Busey, Shelley Duvall


Dean Parisot ( )


Warner Bros.



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Bob Smithouser

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