GUARDING TESS tells the story of Special Secret Service Agent Doug Chesnic who has been assigned to guard Tess, a former first lady. The movie combines the sweet pathos of DRIVING MISS DAISY with the humor of DAVE, but is regrettably marred with a surplusage of obscenities and profanities.
GUARDING TESS tells the story of Special Secret Service Agent Doug Chesnic who has been assigned to guard Tess, a former first lady. In some deliciously humorous scenes, Doug tries to extricate himself from his hum-drum post while the crafty Tess uses all of her influence with the current president to keep him on duty. The president even has some high-level meetings interrupted because of Tess and tells Chesnic in the most profane language to try to make Tess more comfortable. Tess, in turn, exercises her authority imperiously to play golf in the freezing cold, to drive off without her security protection and to undertake other irregular activities to keep Chesnic on his toes. Why she is so attached to Doug appears to be a puzzle until while looking back at old videotapes of her husband’s funeral, Tess freezes on a frame where only Agent Chesnic shows remorse at the death of her husband. When Tess is kidnapped, Agent Chesnic is the only man for the job.
Filled with laughter and some tears, GUARDING TESS should garner a sizable audience. Nicholas Cage as Agent Chesnic and Shirley MacLaine as Tess are brilliant. Hugh Wilson directs this piece with great authenticity and balance. However, the film’s unnecessary 20 profanities and 17 obscenities, which even degrade the office of the President, will only limit the audience appeal of this otherwise redemptive story.
(B, LL, A/D) Redemptive worldview; 20 profanities & 17 obscenities; and, alcohol use.