Commandments (1997)


Commandments (1997)

Seth Warner has reached the end of his rope. Ever since his wife died two years earlier, his world has been in turmoil. He is despondent, his career has fallen apart, even his house has been destroyed. There seems to be nothing left for him to live for. Confused and angry after two years of suffering, he finally directs his wrath at God from the rooftop of his apartment building in New York City. In the midst of a wild thunderstorm he demands to know why he has been betrayed by the god he has believed in and honored his whole life. God's answer is to strike down Seth's dog in a bolt of lightning. Pushed beyond his limits, Seth decides to respond to his years of torment by breaking each of the biblical Ten Commandments. While staying with his sister-in-law, Rachel, much to the chagrin of her shifty reporter husband, Harry, he systematically sets out to break each commandment one by one. A natural at breaking commandments, Harry is drawn to Seth's mission in the hopes of using it to further his career, but ultimately they clash as Seth turns the table and uses Harry to fulfill some of his missions. Things get further complicated when Rachel and Seth are romantically drawn to each other as he struggles with his crisis of faith and she struggles with a failing marriage. Inevitably, Seth comes down to the last and most important commandment, Thou shall not kill. In a climactic battle of will and redemption, Seth, Harry and Rachel cross paths with a raging hurricane at the far end of Long Island. Echoing Seth's first confrontation with God, the sky and the sea open up in this fateful encounter at the Montauk Lighthouse. Individually, each confronts forces beyond human control and more importantly, must come to an understanding of their own life choices and decisions. The resolution to the story for all characters is surprising, mystical and ultimately just.
IMDb   5.6 /10
TheMovieDb    5.5 /10
RottenTomatoes  24 %
FilmAffinity   5.1 /10
Director Daniel Taplitz
Writer Daniel Taplitz
Release Date1997-05-01
Runtime1h 28min
GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
Content RatingR (R)
AwardsAwards1 nomination
CompanyUniversal Pictures, Northern Lights Entertainment
Seth Warneras Seth Warner
Rachel Luceas Rachel Luce
Harry Luceas Harry Luce
Shirl Bernheim
Shirl Bernheim
Sylvia Andrewas Sylvia Andrew
Bankeras Banker
Patrick Garner
Patrick Garner
Bankeras Banker
Receptionistas Receptionist
Melissa Murphyas Melissa Murphy
Lisa Louise Langford
Lisa Louise Langford
Paramedicas Paramedic
Nurseas Nurse
Rudy Warneras Rudy Warner
Detective Malhoneyas Detective Malhoney
Police Chief Warrenas Police Chief Warren
Gordon Bloomas Gordon Bloom
Scholaras Scholar
Frank, the Bartenderas Frank, the Bartender
Mr. Mannas Mr. Mann

Commandments (film)

Commandments is a 1997 American romantic comedy-drama which was written and directed by Daniel Taplitz and stars Aidan Quinn, Courteney Cox and Anthony LaPaglia. The executive producer was Ivan Reitman.

Plot Synopsis

Ever since Seth Warner's (Aidan Quinn) wife died two years ago, his life has gone to pieces. In his rage, he affronts God who seemingly responds by stopping his suicide attempt and his screaming at God above by crippling his dog and putting Seth in the hospital. So Seth sets out to break all of the ten commandments. Moving in with his sister-in-law, Rachel (Courteney Cox), and her reporter-husband, Harry (Anthony LaPaglia), he systematically starts breaking each of the commandments, increasingly aided by Harry and Rachel. When Rachel finds out Harry has been having an affair, she responds by having an affair with Seth. Seth then steals all of Harry's personally autographed guitars and pawns them. Harry loses his job and finds out Rachel is pregnant with Seth's baby. Seth attempts to kill himself, but is swallowed by a whale and the belly is cut open and Seth is released. Rachel decides to marry Seth and raise the baby with him. Harry stands on top of a building with Seth's crippled dog the same way Seth did before and asks for a sign from God. Perhaps to be saved like Seth was.

Critical reception

The film has received negative reviews, with a 24% "rotten" rating by the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 17 reviews.