My Own Private Idaho

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Released 1991

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Movie Summary

Director:
Gus Van Sant
Released:
1991
Rating:
R
My Own Private Idaho is a 1993 independent drama film that centers around a gay street hustler named Mike (River Phoenix). One night, as he is standing alone on a street in Idaho, he has a narcoleptic episode, in which he thinks of his missing mother. He wakes from this episode in Seattle. It is there that Mike is picked up by an older woman, Alena (Grace Zabriskie), and taken to her mansion. At the mansion, Mike meets up with two other men, Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), his former friend, and Gary (Rodney Harvey). While there, Mike has another narcoleptic episode and ends up in Portland, Oregon with Scott. After Portland, Scott and Mike travel back to Idaho, where Mike learns that his mother is in Italy. In order to find his mother and put his demons in the past, Mike and Scott travel to Italy, where the turn of events leave Mike with more questions.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    The film itself is invigorating - written, directed, and acted with enormous insight and comic elan. [27 Sept 1991]

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    There is no mechanical plot that has to grind to a Hollywood conclusion, and no contrived test for the heroes to pass; this is a movie about two particular young men, and how they ...

  • 50

    Variety

    The Shakespearean side of the story falls short due to Reeves' very narrow range as an actor.

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    Themes

    Gay & Lesbian, Independent, wine