This is a blog which primarily gives some attention to movies that I find were overlooked (for whatever reason) or are simply underrated. I also comment on other, mainly movie-related issues as well. I welcome any suggestions for films to be added to this distinguished list.

One word of warning: The films listed below contain spoilers, so caution during reading is required.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hugo Pool (1997)

"This is you-know-who. Leave a message right after the you-know-what."
-Hugo Dugay's answering machine.

In between her starring roles on Who's the Boss? and Charmed, Alyssa Milano kept busy in the acting world. Many of her films during this time, such as Poison Ivy II: Lily (1995) and Fear (1996), were not exactly stellar, but Milano never ceased to be delightful to watch.
Hugo Pool is the most interesting of her films during this period. Milano plays Hugo Dugay, a swimming pool cleaner in Los Angeles who becomes quite busy one day.
She enlists her bizarre father, Henry (Malcolm McDowell) to go to the Colorado River to obtain water to refill the pool of mobster Chick Chicalini (Richard Lewis). En route, Henry befriends a hitchhiker (Sean Penn). At the same time, Hugo is also helping out filmmaker Franz Mazur (Robert Downey Jr., whose father directed this movie). Her mother Minerva (Cathy Moriarty), who has a compulsion for gambling, wants to help her before becoming distracted by an upcoming horse race they are informed of by another customer, one Floyd Gaylen (Patrick Dempsey), who suffers from Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The characters are all colorful, to say the least, but this is Milano's film because she makes Hugo likeable immediately. The romance that develops between Hugo and Floyd is also sweet. The moment where he struggles to say "Your Welcome"(without his computer, which normally does his talking for him) when Hugo thanks him for helping out with Chick is particularly nice.
One of the most interesting moments in the film, though, occurs at the beginning, when Hugo is getting ready for her day. She lies in bed for a few moments and cries. We are never told why she was crying, but this could reflect helplessness that she feels about her life, something many of us may occasionally feel about our own.
Much like Sunshine Cleaning, I doubt the profession the protagonist has is much like it is in real-life, but, in both cases, it makes for an entertaining film.

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