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The Whole Wide World (1996)

The Whole Wide World (1996)

Released: 1996
Genre: biography, drama, Movie, romance
Director: Dan Ireland
Starring: Ann Wedgeworth, Renée Zellweger, Vincent D'Onofrio,,
Run time: 111 min
IMDb: 7.2/10
Country: USA


In Texas in the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price meets a handsome, eccentric, interesting young man named Robert Howard. He’s a successful writer – of the pulp stories of ‘Conan the Barbarian’; she’s an aspiring one. A friendship develops into a sort of courtship. Based on a memoir by Novalyne Price.
Written by
Eileen Berdon <>
User Reviews: Clearly from the comments previously posted about this film there is a fan-base out there for it, but one which this audience member finds surprising. There is more to ‘The Whole Wide World’ than most Hollywood romances, indeed it’s refreshing to have a decent rom without the annoying com.

The problem is the succession of arguments between the two lead characters becomes so repetitive that although this film runs for under two hours it repeats itself and eventually becomes quite boring.

As pulp writing legend Robert Howard, the alternatively sexy Vincent D’Onofrio is on good form, allowed to exercise his unique ability to deliver bellowed diatribes, and Renée Zellweger performs well in the role of a meek-yet-spitfired-girl-next-door-teacher-type turned on by a brilliant outcast, a character which surely engages the bookish fantasies of the female audience this chick flick will most likely appeal to, as she becomes a heroine for ultimately tolerating Howard’s volatile insecurities. Ain’t that always the way, huh ladies?

Taken from that characters true life memoirs the script is centred firmly on her experience of Howard which leaves the characters slightly one dimensional, and we actually learn very little about a potentially fascinating man, indeed we shouldn’t think of this as being a film about Howard or whatever made him tick.

Special mentions goes to the very last scene is a typically saccharine Hollywood ending, with obvious conclusions presumably reiterated to elicit tears.

So what do we have? A watchable if repetitive and melodramatic romance that’s slightly better than most Hollywood offerings. Nothing less, and, despite what some hyperbolic reviews say here, certainly nothing more.