Watch The Pallbearer
- 1 hr 38 min
The Pallbearer is a romantic comedy-drama from 1996 directed by Matt Reeves and starring David Schwimmer, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Michael Rapaport. The film follows the story of Tom Thompson Jr. (Schwimmer), a struggling actor and recent university graduate who is forced to pay back a loan from his neighbor, Ruth Abernathy (Barbara Hershey), by pretending to be her dead son at his funeral. Tom is initially hesitant but agrees to go along with the charade, only to become more involved with the Abernathy family and his high school crush, Julie DeMarco (Paltrow).
The film takes place in New York City and features a number of familiar locations, including Tom's apartment in a run-down building, the Upper West Side where Julie lives, and the suburban funeral home where the majority of the film takes place. The tone of the film is somewhat melancholic, but there are moments of levity, particularly when Tom is forced to navigate the intricacies of the funeral service and come to terms with his own uncertain future.
One of the strengths of the film is the performances of its lead actors. Schwimmer brings his signature humor and charm to the role of Tom, while Paltrow is captivating as Julie, a woman struggling to come to terms with her own past. Michael Rapaport is also noteworthy as Brad Schorr, Tom's best friend who helps him navigate the complicated world of adult relationships.
The narrative of The Pallbearer revolves around themes of loss, grief, and the struggles of young adulthood. Tom is trying to make sense of his life and find direction, while Julie, who is engaged to a successful businessman, is grappling with her own feelings of disillusionment and nostalgia for the past. Together, the two characters form a tentative connection, driven by their shared sense of sadness and uncertainty about the future.
The film is not without its flaws, however. Some critics have pointed out that the plot feels contrived at times, particularly in the way that Tom is repeatedly forced into awkward situations that test his patience and goodwill. Others have criticized the film's slow pacing, which can make it feel as though not much is happening for long stretches of time.
Despite these shortcomings, The Pallbearer remains a memorable and engaging film that captures the complexities of post-collegiate life in a way that is authentic and relatable. Schwimmer, Paltrow, and Rapaport are all excellent in their roles, bringing a sense of depth and complexity to their characters that makes the audience invested in their stories. The film is ultimately a touching and bittersweet ode to the challenges of growing up and trying to find one's place in the world.
The Pallbearer is a 1996 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0.