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JLFM's Movie Reviews (152)

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Driving Miss Daisy 
One of the Sweetest Things I've Ever Seen
3/4 stars

Sometimes, a thin plot isn't all bad. Driving Miss Daisy proves that. While undeniably simple in nature, Driving Miss Daisy is as sweet as movies get, and makes for a very pleasant experience.

72 year old Miss Daisy is a Jewish widow who, after getting in a slight car accident, is given a chauffeur against her will. A black man named Hoke, the chauffeur seems to be off to a rough start with Miss Daisy, though instead, a beautiful relationship blossoms.

I almost want to say that I'd like to see more movies as simple as Driving Miss Daisy. But I take it back, because a lot of Driving Miss Daisy's charm comes from the fact that it's simplicity is so rare in cinema, especially nowadays.

The title character, Miss Daisy, comes off as a bit of a grump at first. And though her determined and prideful nature may be a bit irksome at first, you grow attached to her, much like Hoke. Hoke is a lively and kind-hearted chauffeur whose screen presence provides much of the humor in the movie. The chemistry and development between the two is done beautifully.

While there's more than a little bit of formula, Driving Miss Daisy still feels fresh, and is touching without being overly sappy. It's a pitch perfect blend of subtle humor, romance, and sweetness.

Acting is perfect. Jessica Tandy as Miss Daisy is perfectly disguised in the role, and Morgan Freeman is a great choice for Hoke. Dan Aykroyd as Miss Daisy's son, Boolie is also excellent.

The score by Hans Zimmer is more than a little surprising. Known today for his work in blockbuster action movies, this much quieter and simpler score is a nice change of pace. While it's extremely dated, the two main themes (one jazzy, one sobering) are beautiful and memorable.

Driving Miss Daisy will never be one of my favorite films, nor is it a film that I can see myself reaching for when I need something to watch. Regardless, this is an absolutely beautiful piece of cinema that I'm very glad I saw. It's easy-going sweetness and touching warmth is easily balanced with subtle humor, and it never gets overly schmaltzy. To top it all off, Driving Miss Daisy runs at a brisk 100 minute run time, so the thin plot never feels stretched. Driving Miss Daisy is no masterpiece, but it's one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.


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