Auggie Rose is a movie that is sometimes titled Beyond Suspicion. I have no idea why the title changed between the time it was released and the time it showed up on DVD and cable. I caught the movie on cable and was impressed enough to watch the whole thing.
The movie stars Jeff Goldblum as John Nolan, a mild mannered life insurance executive who decides to stop and get a bottle of wine on his way home. While he is waiting to pay for his wine a punk enters the store and attempts to rob the owner. In the process the punk squeezes off two shots. One appears to be shot away from the counter, while the other is shot above the counter. You can’t really tell since the camera angle is from Goldblum’s perspective as he is prone on the floor.
When the punk leaves Goldblum gets up and sees that the owner is fine, the punk shot the phone. He then sees that a store clerk has been shot off to the side. The owner runs from the store to get help while Goldblum goes to the aid of the shot store clerk.
The store clerk’s name is Auggie Rose, and he is played by Kim Coates. As Goldblum attempts to help Coates they start talking. Coates lets Goldblum know the wine he is holding is for Goldblum, and that he thinks he’s going to die. At this point two officers enter and tell Goldblum to move away from Coates, but Goldblum pleads he is helping him. They realize he’s rendering aid and call for an ambulance. Goldblum pushes his way into the ambulance and rides to the hospital with Coates. Along the way Coates tells Goldblum his name is Auggie Rose, and thus begins the movie.
At the hospital Goldblum finds out that Auggie Rose has died. He is devastated. Goldblum thinks that he caused the death, because Auggie had to get the wine for him from the store room. Goldblum’s girlfriend, friends and even the police try to convince him otherwise, yet he still blames himself.
The self blame leads Goldblum to try to find out more about Auggie. He learns from police that Auggie is an ex-con with no relatives, which drives Goldblum to hunt down where Auggie lives. Through this experience we’re led to more background on Auggie including the notes that he and Lucy, played by Anne Heche, have exchanged. In the notes Goldblum find out Heche has been writing to Auggie in prison and is on her way to Los Angeles to meet Auggie for the first time. Not knowing what to do, Goldblum shows up at the bus station to break the news to Heche that Auggie has died. Unfortunately, when he sees her he cannot do it.
As the movie progresses Goldblum begins to assume Auggie’s role in life. He finds a similar job to Auggie’s, leaves his girlfriend, moves into Auggie’s apartment and even contemplates a crime. Slowly he is starting to become Auggie.
The movie’s third act plays out well as Goldblum admits to Heche that he isn’t Auggie. She responds by leaving town, but Goldblum is undaunted. He talks with the police officer that handled Auggie’s case and in earnest begins living the life of Auggie. I can’t explain more, but check out the bottom of the review for the ending.
I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth at the end. Instead of allowing the story to unfold in realistic terms, I think the producers went for the Hollywood ending.
Who should see this movie? People who like love stories and Jeff Goldblum fans.
Why is it rated R? I have no idea. It seemed PG-13 at best to me.