Joe Versus the Volcano

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Released 1990

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Movie Summary

Director:
John Patrick Shanley
Released:
1990
Rating:
PG

Joe Versus the Volcano is a fanciful tale from the imaginative writer/director John Patrick Shanley (Oscar winner for the "Moonstruck" screenplay). This life-affirming comedy also represents the first teaming of favorite screen couple Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan ("Sleepless in Seattle"). The story follows Joe, an office drone, who discovers he has a terminal illness. He decides to accept an offer to spend his last days in splendor, in exchange for becoming a human sacrifice to a volcano spirit. On his way to the island of Waponi Woo, he meets and falls in love with Patricia, who decides to join him in his jump into the volcano. With equal parts whimsy, romance, and meditations on what makes life worth living, this charming comedy both entertains and touches your heart. The Hanks-Ryan chemistry is in full bloom, with charming comedic performances by veteran character actors Lloyd Bridges, Abe Vigoda, and Robert Stack.

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Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It is not an entirely successful movie, but it is new and fresh and not shy of taking chances. And the dialogue in it is actually worth listening to, because it is written with wit...

  • 75

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    Like a lava lamp turned on high, Joe Versus the Volcano glows with originality. Go bask in it. [9 Mar 1990, p.4D]

  • 75

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Joe Versus the Volcano is difficult to review because some parts are fresh, inventive, and entertaining, while others are near-misses or even complete failures. On balance, however...

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Themes

Romantic Comedy, Dark Comedy