Watch I'm Not Rappaport
- 2 hr 15 min
I'm Not Rappaport is a 1996 American comedy-drama film directed by Herb Gardner and starring Walter Matthau, Ossie Davis, and Amy Irving. The film is based on Gardner's play of the same name, and it was well received by both audiences and critics alike. The story is set in New York City and revolves around the unlikely friendship between two elderly men: Nat Moyer, a cantankerous white Jew played by Matthau, and Midge Carter, a proud black man played by Davis. The two men meet regularly on a bench in Central Park, where they engage in spirited conversations about their pasts, their dreams, and the state of the world.
Nat is a retired radical leftist who spends his days spinning tall tales and railing against society's injustices. Midge is a retired chauffeur who is proud of his years of service to a wealthy white family but is also disillusioned by the racism and discrimination he has faced throughout his life. Despite their differences, the two men find common ground in their sense of humor and their determination to live life on their own terms.
The film's plot is driven by a series of encounters that Nat and Midge have with various characters who inhabit their world. At one point, they take on a trio of hostile teenagers who are harassing an elderly woman. At another, they come face to face with the reclusive drug dealer who lives across the street from them. Throughout these encounters, Nat and Midge prove themselves to be fearless, feisty, and fiercely loyal, even as their bodies and minds betray them.
The film also explores the relationships that Nat and Midge have with the people in their lives. Nat has a contentious relationship with his daughter Clara, played by Amy Irving, who is worried about his mental and physical health. Midge is visited by his daughter Sarah, played by Martha Plimpton, who is trying to persuade him to move in with her and her family. Both men resist these attempts to control their lives, insisting that they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.
The performances in I'm Not Rappaport are uniformly excellent, with Matthau and Davis creating fully realized characters that are both funny and poignant. Matthau, in particular, is a joy to watch as he delivers one zinger after another with impeccable timing and dry wit. Davis, too, brings depth and warmth to his portrayal of Midge, capturing both the character's pride and vulnerability.
Overall, I'm Not Rappaport is a charming and engaging film that offers an affectionate look at two aging men who refuse to be forgotten or ignored. It is a poignant reminder that no matter how old we get, we still have the capacity to connect with others, to find humor in life's absurdities, and to fight for the things that matter most to us.
I'm Not Rappaport is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5.