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Legacy Review

Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)

Here’s something out of left-field: A small, indie romantic drama starring baby-faced Tom Hanks — his first ever dramatic role, excluding TV movies.

The movie’s Romeo and Juliet riff features Hanks as David, a member of the Royal Air Force (his obvious American accent is hand-waved away with one line) and Cristina Marsillach as Sarah, a sheltered Jewish girl in Spain. The two find themselves crossing paths over and over and gradually falling for each other. Hanks and Marsillach have solid goo-goo eye chemistry, sufficient to carry the functional but wholly inessential film across the finish line.

The plot is predictable from the first scene to the last, but there’s some flavor in the movie’s depiction of the Sarah’s family. The family all speaks the Judeo-Spanish language of Ladino to each other, an unexpected bit of authenticity.

Hanks hadn’t quite fine-tuned his dramatic chops: He struggles once or twice to properly modulate his puppy dog energy, which occasionally overwhelms everything else in the film. The worst moment is a scene in the climax that begs for some tenderness, but where Hanks shouts one of the key lines. Despite that, he’s still the best and most memorable part of the film.

Overall, Every Time We Say Goodbye is completely unremarkable — perhaps the most forgettable film that Hanks ever appeared in. It’s not incompetent, but not nearly interesting enough to seek out unless you’re a completionist.

Is It Good?

Not Very Good (3/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.


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