GenreComedy, Romance Music byDanilo Perez CountryUnited States
Release dateDecember 12, 1997 (1997-12-12) WriterRobert Downey Sr., Laura Ernst CastAlyssa Milano (Hugo Dugay), Mark Boone Junior (Pool Supply Man), Malcolm McDowell (Henry Dugay), Sean Penn (Strange Hitchhiker), Robert Downey Jr. (Franz Mazur), Cathy Moriarty (Minerva) Similar moviesJamon Jamon, Notes on a Scandal, Zandalee, Angel, The Piano Teacher, Happy Endings
TaglineA comedy with serious relief
Hugo Pool (also known as Pool Girl in the UK) is a 1997 American romantic comedy film, directed by Robert Downey Sr., starring Alyssa Milano and Patrick Dempsey.
Hugo Dugay (Alyssa Milano) runs a small company, Hugo Pool, that cleans swimming pools in Los Angeles. The film covers one day in her life, during which she must clean many pools in the midst of a drought that interferes with her usual water supply. In addition to dealing with several eccentric customers, including mobster Chick Chicalini (Richard Lewis) and filmmaker Franz Mazur (Robert Downey Jr.), Hugo must care for her needy parents Minerva (Cathy Moriarty) and Henry (Malcolm McDowell). Also, Hugo may be falling in love with Floyd Gaylen (Patrick Dempsey), a customer of hers who has ALS.
Alyssa Milano – Hugo Dugay
Patrick Dempsey – Floyd Gaylen
Cathy Moriarty – Minerva Dugay
Robert Downey Jr. – Franz Mazur
Richard Lewis – Chick Chicalini
Malcolm McDowell – Henry Dugay
Sean Penn – Man with blue shoes
The film was written by Robert Downey Sr. and his wife Laura, who died of ALS.
In an unfavorable review for The Village Voice, Elizabeth Weitzman criticized many of the performances, with the exceptions of Dempsey, for giving an understated performance, Downey Jr., "whose talents cannot be destroyed no matter what horrors he puts them through," and Milano, "whose natural performance appears to have been cut and pasted from another (better) movie," though she "can't turn around without the camera lewdly ogling her." A Variety review states, "the movie seldom achieves the quirky, zany rhythm it strives for"; Hugo Pool is "a comedy that should have been messier and more outrageous." Like The Village Voice, Variety praises the performances of Dempsey, Milano and Downey Jr. above other cast members. The review notes the film's visual accomplishments and production, stating, "Production values are first-rate, including Joe Montgomery's radiant lensing, Lauren Gabor's colorful production design, Danilo Perez's vibrant music and Joe D'Augustine's crisp editing.