In MR. WONDERFUL, a New York City working guy named Gus wants to go into the bowling alley business with his four buddies, but cannot afford to chip in for his share of the finances because alimony payments to his ex-wife are inhibiting his cash flow. What’s a guy to do? Matt Dillon stars as Gus, the working stiff who’s only solution is to find his ex-wife another man, a new MR. WONDERFUL. Gus and Lee (Annabella Sciorra) grew up together. They were high-school sweethearts. They married. They divorced. The script vaguely tells us they parted ways when Lee wanted to further her education and travel, while Gus wanted to stay in the old neighborhood and have a family. (Maybe they should have discussed these things before getting married.) At any rate, now the alimony stands between Gus and his dream of owning a business with his best friends.
MR. WONDERFUL is not a dynamic film by any means, but it is a semi-sweet, semi-love story with adequate performances. In spite of the film’s romantic promise, it is regrettably clouded by sexual involvement outside of marriage. It does show, unintentionally, how shallow such involvement is and how it destroys trust and undermines true intimacy. Without this element, as well as some frank sexual discourse and a few obscenities, the film could be a very pleasant and enjoyable selection. Too bad.
(H, LL, S, N, M) Humanism; 5 obscenities, 9 exclamatory profanities ("Oh my God!" type phrases) & a few vulgarities; strongly implied fornication & adultery (not seen, but certain), brief sexual fondling and frank discussions of sexual activity; no clear nudity, but couples in stages of semi-undress; and, casual drinking & smoking.