Picks and Pans Review: Waking the Dead
A handsome young congressional candidate (Crudup) in Chicago is having trouble concentrating, and not just because he is questioning why he ever agreed to run in the first place. At campaign stops he keeps glimpsing his girlfriend (Connelly), who supposedly died in an explosion a decade earlier, watching him from the edges of the crowd. Is she real or merely an apparition, a vision he has summoned in his moment of need?
By the time the wan Waking the Dead finally gets around to fuzzily answering that question, most viewers will have given up the ghost, as it were, on the film itself. Based on a 1986 novel by Scott Spencer (Endless Love) and directed by Keith Gordon, Waking shuttles between 1982, when Crudup is running for office, and 1972, when he was romancing Connelly. Back then he was already a nascent yuppie and she a left-wing radical, but they were always able to overcome their political differences between the sheets.
Although the two leads are attractive and sizzle in the bedroom scenes, their characters are so vaguely written that they never come across as more than ideological constructs. Janet McTeer, the Oscar-nominated dynamo from Tumbleweeds, is wasted here in a small role as Crudup's sister. (R)
Bottom Line: Bedfellows make strange politics