Touchstone and Beyond: A History of Disney’s “Miami Rhapsody”

Sarah Jessica Parkers walks viewers through the intricacies of relationships, the difficulties of marriage, and the beauty of her hometown in Miami Rhapsody.

The Plot

Gwyn is engaged to Matt, and while she loves him, Gwyn isn’t sure about marriage. Her mother Nina is having an affair with Antonio, Gwyn’s grandmother’s nurse. Vic, her father, is having an affair with his travel agent, because both are unhappy with their marriage.

Gwyn looks for stability from her sister Leslie, who recently married, but is also having an affair because she is unhappy with her husband. Her brother Jordan, who is expecting a child with his wife Terri, is also having an affair because he is unhappy in his marriage.

Everywhere Gwyn looks for guidance she is told she should get married, that it’s a great thing, but her examples in real life make her question the notion and practicality of marriage. Gwyn’s hesitancy to commit is too much for Matt, who finally ends the relationship.

Upset over the breakup, Gwyn starts to self-examine her own thoughts toward commitment, and slowly she sees how her family reconciles their differences and piece their own marriages back together. Gwyn and Matt say their goodbyes as he departs for a job in Africa, but while everyone else seems happy, Gwyn is single, but happy too.

The Good

I was not expecting to like Miami Rhapsody. My dislike of another Sarah Jessica Parker show made me question my choice, but what a pleasant and funny surprise Miami Rhapsody turned out to be. The beauty to the film is that David Frankel gave Parker the spotlight to just be funny.

This is Gwyn’s story and every moment that Parker is on the screen, she is not only genuine in her innocence and neurotic tendencies, but Gwyn is also sweet, charming, and hilarious. The script may have been written by the talented Frankel, but Sarah Jessica Parker makes the story sizzle with her approach to the character.

While Parker is the star, the supporting cast of Mazursky, Farrow, Pollack, Gugino, and Antonio Banderas are excellent in their roles. Their characters choices might be questionable at times, but their redeeming qualities more than make up for their faults.

The Bad and the Ugly

If you dislike Woody Allen movies, then you may wish to steer clear of this film. It’s not an Allen picture, but it has all the same tendencies.

The movie depicts marriage in a very interesting way. It’s very much pro marriage and relationship to some extent, but everyone is cheating on their significant other and somehow justify their unfaithful behavior with frivolous excuses.

Beyond the Film Facts

  • The Casting Society of America gave the film a nomination for Best Casting.
  • Ben Stein plays the part of the Rabbi.
  • Janine Turner apparently turned down the role of Gwyn.
  • The film was skewered by critics as being a pale imitation of a Woody Allen movie. Roger Ebert rated the film highly saying that the film is so funny, so what’s wrong with it being an imitation.
  • In a 2013 interview, Parker talked about the joy of shooting the film. How much she loved being on set and working with David Frankel. To Parker, this was a time before she was married with kids, so she enjoyed being apart of the film, and the rich food options in Miami.

The Streamy Scale

{The following four categories are based on a Film Reel scale.

1 Reel-Watch on your Smartphone, 2 Reels-Tablet Time, 3 Reels-Travel Entertainment, 4 Reels-Big Screen Event}

Miami Rhapsody is a surprise gem from the Touchstone/Hollywood Pictures vault. This is a film that was dismissed during its theatre release but really was unfairly tagged with a label of being a knockoff of Woody Allen. In my opinion, I enjoyed Miami Rhapsody far more than anything Woody Allen ever produced.

The characters are likable, even when they are at their worst, and Sarah Jessica Parker proves early on in her career how talented and funny she is as she leads this star studded and talented cast.

Miami Rhapsody is the perfect choice for a travel film and gets a 3 Reels rating on “The Streamy Scale”.

Cast and Crew

  • Sarah Jessica Parker as Gwyn
  • Mia Farrow as Nina
  • Antonio Banderas as Antonio
  • Gil Bellows as Matt
  • Paul Mazursky as Vic
  • Kevin Pollack as Jordan
  • Barbara Garrick as Terri
  • Carla Gugino as Leslie
  • Naomi Campbell as Kaia

Directed by David Frankel

Produced by Hollywood Pictures / Cantaloupe Productions /  

Release Date: January 27, 1995

Budget: $6 million

Box Office Gross

Domestic: $5,221,281

Worldwide Total: $15,221,281

Coming Soon

Next week Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson play protective parents who have a secret to hide in the mystery Before and After.