Genre Guesstimation – My Own Private Idaho (1991)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by James of Blogging By Cinema Light and we will be reviewing our favorite Shakespeare in Film Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Dec by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice James!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Shakespeare in Film Movies.

“This road never ends. It probably goes all around the world. ” – Mike Waters

Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Two street hustlers in Oregon go on a journey of self discovery while trying to find their paths in life.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had heard of when it came out nearly 3 decades ago yet never had any desire to see what it was all about.

When doing research for this month’s genre, I came across this film and decided to finally give it a try.

Trying is definitely the right phrase here because this was a very trying film.

The story drags along too much and isn’t able to find a way to be interesting for the viewer.

The characters aren’t developed well enough and feel too existentialist as opposed to people who we can care about what will happen to them along the way.

Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix are both very talented actors, but even they can’t help endear their characters to the audience in a better way.

The pot of this film is a complete and utter mess and fails to make much sense.

The story is quite inconsistent and uninformative throughout.

Their are characters who appear and disappear at a moments notice without much of an explanation which makes things even more confusing.

I read that this film is a amalgamation of numerous works by Shakespeare, but one wouldn’t be able to identify them in the mess that this film makes things to be.

Bottom Line – Really boring film that doesn’t work at all. Reeves and Phoenix are both great actors, but they fail to make their characters endearing to the audience to a point where there is a reason to care about what will happen to them.  The plot is a complete mess and doesn’t find a way to stay consistent and informative at all. There are characters who appear and disappear quite strangely from the narrative without much explanation.  This seems to be based an amalgam of numerous Shakespeare plays, but I had trouble pinpointing them.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Because River Phoenix’s agent refused to show him the film treatment for “My Own Private Idaho”, in late 1990 Keanu Reeves rode his motorcycle from Canada to Phoenix’s hometown of Gainesville, Florida to hand deliver it himself. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not even close. This film drags along too much and has a very inconsistent and strange narrative that fails to be interesting.

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)


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One thought on “Genre Guesstimation – My Own Private Idaho (1991)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur December Finale – Julius Caesar (1953) – Blogging By Cinema Light | MovieRob

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