Bobby (R)

Drama 120 November 23, 2006
By Jim Ridley
Imagine the death of liberal idealism dramatized as a clunky 1970s disaster flick — that's Bobby, Emilio Estevez's sprawling ensemble piece, an Airport movie with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as the central calamity and an all-star cast deployed like multiple George Kennedys. Juggling some 22 main characters on June 4, 1968, in the hours leading up to RFK's shooting at the Ambassador Hotel, ambitious actor-writer-director Estevez means to eulogize the hopes of a nation, showing the night's impact on a group of hotel guests and staff cross-sectioned by age, race, and class. But the movie ends up buried under stifling good intentions and dire execution. As Estevez practically builds the Ambassador a new wing to accommodate his star-studded upstairs-downstairs subplots -- finding vacancies for a self-sacrificing war bride (Lindsay Lohan!), a retired doorman (Anthony Hopkins!), a boozy nightclub singer (Demi Moore!), and even his dad, Martin Sheen, and Helen Hunt as bourgeois second-honeymooners -- his attempt to hit every generational touchstone turns the movie into a docent's tour of '60s discord. All this retrophilia is turned into instant camp by a veritable telethon of celebrity walk-ons -- and that's even before hippie-dippie Ashton Kutcher shows up in meth-addled-Muppet mode.
Emilio Estevez Anthony Hopkins, Sharon Stone, Elijah Wood, Demi Moore, William H. Macy, Lindsay Lohan, Emilio Estevez, Christian Slater, Martin Sheen, Helen Hunt Emilio Estevez Edward Bass, Michel Litvak, Holly Wiersma The Weinstein Co.

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