Miami Rhapsody

Director: David Frankel

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


Gwyn (Sarah Jessica Parker) is confused—her boyfriend has popped the question, but does she love him? And what is this marriage thing all about anyway? When she looks to her own family for answers, things don’t get any clearer. Even her parents, Nina and Vic (played with great relish by Mia Farrow and Paul Mazursky), are having affairs! Her shallow brother Jordan has taken flight from the responsibilities of fatherhood, and her newly married sister Leslie is having an affair with an old college flame.

So begins Miami Rhapsody, a film that can be described as a sun-drenched, pastel and art deco take on Woody Allen’s Manhattan, where the characters are confused by the clamor, complications and temptations of life, and are just trying to find some answers. This is especially true for Gwyn, who filters her family’s continuously shocking revelations of impropriety through her smart and snappy demeanor. When Nina reveals her secret to Gwyn as they walk through a busy Miami Beach shopping mall, Gwyn’s world rocks, and Mia Farrow plays it perfectly: she is eroticized and energized by the affair, feels guilty about the whole sordid thing, but ultimately resigns herself to the outcome.

Miami Rhapsody is more than just a charming romantic comedy. Hilarious set pieces, polished performances all around, and Gwyn’s agonizingly introspective monologues give it a smart, sassy and slightly wicked edge. Director David Frankel does a superb job of maintaining the pace and masterfully captures the ensemble in a balmy and breezy Miami, where the temptations of wealth and beauty abound. But these characters rise above temptation, and in the process surprise us all.

Miami Rhapsody gives new meaning to the phrase, “terms of endearment.” Here, the terms that define society’s understanding of marriage are first embraced, then rejected, criticized, agonized over, and ultimately clarified for a nineties family on a journey of self-discovery.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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