Hugo Pool
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Robert Downey Sr. (Greaser's Palace, Putney Swope), who directed this movie, also co-authored the film's screenplay with his wife Laura Downey, who died in 1994 of Lou Gehrig's disease. The romantic comedy-drama follows the daily rounds of Bel Air pool cleaner Hugo (Alyssa Milano) as she encounters her various offbeat customers, including a deranged film director (Robert Downey Jr.), a gangster (Richard Lewis), and a young man with Lou Gehrig's disease (Patrick Dempsey). Shown at the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I groaned my way through this black -- and blue -- romantic comedy and then decided I liked it."
‑ Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader
"Hugo Pool, the first film in six years from former counterculture director Robert Downey sets new standards in wacko charmlessness."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"A series of strenuously oddball vignettes masquerading as a movie."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Interesting -- but not riveting -- slice of life in Southern California."
‑ Shannon J. Harvey, Sunday Times (Australia)
"The picture features a choice ensemble of actors who are starved by the lack of a nourishing script and whose improvised quips and sallies fall far short of hilarity."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"It's as if Downey Sr.'s irreverence and off-the-wall humor couldn't quite co-exist with the heartfelt tribute he intends to make here to his wife and her fellow Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis sufferers."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"The best thing about this bizarre love story (follie de grandeur) between a female pool cleaner and immobile man in wheelchair is that it puts icon Robert Downey behind the camera after long absence; with some luck Patrick Dempsey should become a lead man"
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"What a mess."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Hugo Pool features an impressive collection of talent, including two of the best actors of their generation -- Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. Sadly, their talents are wasted in this muddled mix of romance and attempted satire."
‑ Margaret A. McGurk, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Robert Downey Sr directs this overly self-consciously "wacky" day-in-the-life comedy. Unfortunately, even with plenty of talent attached, the film goes nowhere."
‑ Madeleine Williams, Cinematter
"A sweet, winning diversion that meanders enjoyably on the strength of its laid-back charm."
‑ Nathan Rabin, AV Club
"The audience seems limited to the director's inner circle."
‑ Jack Mathews, Los Angeles Times
"The bottom of the pool."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Downey tries to re-create the loopy irreverence of Putney Swope in a '90s setting -- with little success."
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
More reviews for Hugo Pool on Rotten Tomatoes