Guarding Tess

Watch Guarding Tess

"A comedy beyond the call of duty."
  • PG-13
  • 1994
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 6.2  (18,687)
  • 46

Guarding Tess is a 1994 American film that tells the story of a man named Doug Chesnic (Nicolas Cage), who is assigned to be a Secret Service agent to the former First Lady of the United States, Tess Carlisle (Shirley MacLaine). The movie takes place after Tess, who has been a widow for several years, has retired to her home in Ohio, where she enjoys a life of leisure and an array of hired help. However, despite Tess’s age and status, she remains very independent and requests that Doug’s presence is solely to fulfill her needs rather than to act as her guard.

At first, Doug is disgruntled with Tess’s requests and stubbornness, as he is accustomed to escorting world leaders and protecting the President himself. However, Tess’s willpower and her strong personality quickly rub off on him, and he learns to respect and even admire her in time. Despite their unconventional camaraderie, their journey is far from uneventful.

Through a series of twists and turns, Tess finds herself in need of Doug’s protection more than ever before, culminating in a highly-charged and emotional incident that tests both of their limits. The film explores themes of companionship, respect, sacrifice, and emotional bonds. While the film is often described as a buddy comedy, it also includes some hard-hitting moments that keep the story grounded and the relationships authentic.

Shirley MacLaine delivers a powerhouse performance as the stubborn and headstrong Tess, showcasing her skills as both a comedic and dramatic actress. Nicolas Cage serves perfectly as Tess’s dry-witted and charming protector, balancing out her personality and providing a sense of stability amidst the chaos. Austin Pendleton also delivers a commendable performance as Earl Fowler, Tess’s long-time friend and confidante who provides insight into her past and acts as a source of emotional support.

The film’s pacing is leisurely, taking the time to build the relationships between the characters and develop the plot. However, the movie never feels slow or boring—rather, it is filled with well-timed instances of humor, touching moments, and moments of suspense that keep things interesting. The soundtrack also plays a large role in keeping the audience engaged, with a mix of lively contemporary songs and classic standards to add to the film’s overall energy.

Throughout the film, the cinematography takes great care to showcase the beauty of rural Ohio, from its rolling hills to its picturesque countryside. There are some lovely shots of Tess’s luxurious home, which is filled with beautiful antiques, artwork, and other treasures. The sets have been so meticulously designed that the movie feels like a slice of life in a small Ohio town.

Overall, Guarding Tess is a charming and engaging film that showcases the talents of its cast and delivers a heartwarming and poignant story. While it may not be the most exciting or action-packed film, it is thoroughly enjoyable and features some great moments of humor and emotion. It’s the perfect feel-good movie to watch on a lazy afternoon, with a cup of tea, and some good company.

Guarding Tess is a 1994 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 46.

Guarding Tess
Where to Watch Guarding Tess
Guarding Tess is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Guarding Tess for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (18,687)
  • Metascore