Next Stop Wonderland

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

This delightful romantic comedy gives an honest portrayal of being almost 30 years old, intelligent but single. Erin (Hope Davis), a nurse in a Boston hospital, also happens to be beautiful and sensitive, making romance more difficult. Erin's long-time live-in boyfriend has abandoned her, prompting her widowed but vivacious mother to help Erin find a soul mate through a personal ad in the Boston paper. While Erin methodically and dutifully sifts through the 62 responses to the ad, her unknown soul mate Alan (Alan Gelfant) almost crosses her path several times. He has quit his job as a plumber to attend school full time to study marine biology. When he's not studying, Alan is volunteering at the Wonderland Aquarium, located at one of the main sub-stations for the Boston metro system. The bizarre stories Erin hears from her would-be suitors, including Alan's pretentious brother, are hilarious. Women particularly will appreciate NEXT STOP WONDERLAND, and even though it can't compete with the current big action films, any romantic will enjoy it.

Erin and Alan each have high ideals. When ordered by the man who loaned him money for college to destroy a prize rare fish at the aquarium, Alan figures out a way to satisfy the thug without harming the fish. Erin's cynicism gradually fades as she realizes she cannot depend on another human being to be her source of happiness. The fact that Erin and her former boyfriend had lived together is treated neutrally, but she does not go to bed with any of her new male acquaintances. Her mother, on the other hand, seems to pick up men on her many travels and is shown in a hotel room with one. There are no sex scenes and only a few instances of Erin kissing a very smooth talking Brazilian who tries to sweep her off her feet. Alan is pursued by one of his classmates who eventually manages to manipulate a brief passionate kiss from him. One of Erin's co-workers is a homosexual whose effeminate behavior creates laughs. That, plus NEXT STOP WONDERLAND's foul language must be the reason for an R rating. Three f-words, five s-words and five regular profanities could have easily been omitted. This movie proves Hollywood can make contemporary love stories without sex and nudity. Let's hope we see more films with the dialogue cleaned up too.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 1, Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Several (9) times - f-word 3, s-word 5, other 1

Profanity: Several (5) times - All Regular (G-d 2, C2, G 1)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity - once (girl in bra)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times (drinking in bar)

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

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