Grand Canyon [1991]

This murky rumination on keeping faith in our troubled times was an early sign that writer-director Lawrence Kasdan (Silverado) was losing his once-powerful grasp on the art of storytelling. Set in modern Los Angeles--with all its random violence, venality, ubiquitous police presence, earthquakes, and dreams--the film concerns an unusual intersection of lives and chance occurrences that alter everyone's perspective on destiny. Kasdan, very understandably, is attempting to create an experience for viewers as intuitive as the undefined forces propelling his characters. But from the outside looking in, there isn't enough internal logic in the story to help us connect the dots. Steve Martin has an interesting part as a garish film producer who undergoes a change in priorities after being assaulted on the street. --Tom Keogh

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