In the opening segment of I Dreamed Of Africa, Kim Basinger breaks her leg. The rest of the film is so dull, you can almost hear the bone heal. Based on a true story and mundane enough never to raise any doubt about that fact, Basinger stars as Kuki Gallmann, a woman who went to Africa, bought a house, and stayed there. In real life, Gallmann established a wildlife retreat in Kenya, a fact Africa eventually gets around to portraying, but only after a long stretch in which virtually nothing other than housekeeping happens. As a star vehicle to follow up her Oscar-winning performance in L.A. Confidential, Basinger could hardly have asked for anything worse. Little happens until the heavily foreshadowed final third, and outside of the occasional voiceover and two funeral orations so overwritten that Meryl Streep would have had difficulty selling them, there's little acting to be done here. (Basinger's hair and Dark Continent fashion sense remain unaffected throughout, however.) Africa even comes up short as a film about a lover of animals: Aside from the occasional warthog, lion, or elephant wandering by Basinger's home, director Hugh Hudson (Chariots Of Fire) doesn't see fit to show much wildlife. A few more wildebeests might have made a world of difference. It's hard to see what attracted anyone to I Dreamed Of Africa aside from the prospect of spending time in Africa. It's nearly impossible to imagine anyone else wishing to see it for any other reason.
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