Rent Misery on Amazon Video // Buy the book Stephen King's Misery on Amazon
Written by: Stephen King (novel), William Goldman (screenplay)
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Starring: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!
After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he realizes he's a hostage.
It's not a great movie, but Kathy Bates melds a caring nurse with an obsession fan to make this work. It's an unsettling psychological horror that could do a better job of getting in your head.
This plays into obsessive fans. Annie (Kathy Bates) thinks she knows Paul, her favorite author, from reading his books. While she has the facts, she doesn't know the person. She's created a fake persona to worship. She knows too much while not knowing who he truly is.
Eminem's song Stan (2000) explored the same realm of fan obsession. Stan and Annie both take violent action, though the recipient differs in each case. Their fans that want their idols to appreciate them in reciprocity.
Paul (James Caan) is completely disinterested in his biggest fan, but is relegated to a bed due to his injuries and the weather. He endures Annie because he doesn't have a choice. I wondered if there would be a twist about the cause of his wreck, but the movie
plays it straight instead of making it more convoluted than necessary.
Paul tries to be nice and asks her criticisms over his new book. She flips out, giving us a glimpse into her craziness. She apologies, but we know there is more to it than that. When Annie learns that Paul is ending his Misery book series, she forces him to pen another book in the series. Paul plots his unlikely escape. With two broken legs, he doesn't have much hope.
The idea of this movie is much better than the execution. Caan isn't the best fit for his character, but Kathy Bates manages to overcome many of the negatives in this movie. She plays both sides of sincere and crazy expertly.