The Good (But Not Great)
In theory, American men hate guys like Hugh Grant because American women love them, with their accents and twinkling eyes. I happened to really like him in Notting Hill, and not just because I like Julia Roberts (which is why my wife hates her). I also liked him in Mickey Blue Eyes. Yeah, the plot is a little thin, but it works. The setup requires Hugh Grant's character to be a bumbling idiot, but he happens to play the character like a bumbling idiot, so you can believe he'd fall into the trap. The plot twists won't have anybody jumping out of their seats in surprise, and the movie plays heavily on mafia stereotypes, but again, it works. Jeanne Tripplehorn does a great job, and I watched it twice.
I've never been a big fan of lawyer movies. In fact, I'm not quite sure why I ever watch them. The plot is always the same: An lawyer takes a case fighting against a big corporation that's beating down on the little people. The stakes rise as his personal life is sacrificed for the case, and everybody sides with the corporation to slant the case against him. In the end, justice is served in a poignant way, though not as well as we know it should have been since the big nasty corporations control everything. And so it is with A Civil Action. At least this movie tries to be slightly non-formulaic and realistic, in that the lawyer takes the case only for the money at first. In movieland, all lawyers sue big corporations for justice, and it's not about the money. I can't give away the ending, since I recommend the movie, but it doesn't exactly follow the formula of lawyer loses first, then wins. Some part of my brain somewhere keeps crying out that there was a lot more to the story depicted in this movie, and there was, but we all know, or should know, that nothing in the movies is ever accurate. Who cares? It's a pretty good movie, moving and interesting.