Santa Leaves a Six-Pack

In half a dozen Christmas movies, Hollywood worries a lot, has an affair, pays for a wedding, loses its faith and the rain forest, and gets stoned

GRAND CANYON

The business of the movies is to reassure us. The boy eventually gets the girl; the bad guy bites the dust. And maybe Grand Canyon, which ends on a subdued but nevertheless optimistic note, must finally be construed as a conventionally cheering film.

But before it brings most of its principals to the edge of the title gorge, there to commune with a symbol of the timeless universe's indifference to our petty bedevilments, the film accomplishes something remarkable: it forces us to contemplate the fragility of our everyday arrangements, the ease with which brutal chance can void the habits...

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