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Love Affair

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Love Affair

Starring: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening
Director: Glen Gordon Caron
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: October 1994
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: Katharine Hepburn, Garry Shandling, Chloe Webb, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Capshaw, Paul Mazursky, Glenn Shadix, Harold Ramis

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

LOVE AFFAIR is at least the third remake of the original 1939 LOVE AFFAIR. Unlike SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE which was loosely based on the original, this one shares most of the key story elements. SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE was technically based on AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957) which was in turn based on LOVE AFFAIR (1939).

This LOVE AFFAIR is about a famous football player turned announcer (Warren Beatty) and a waitress turned interior decorator, singer and child care worker (Annette Bening). It features an important cameo by Katherine Hepburn as the football announcer's aunt. It has other smaller cameos as well such as Ray Charles singing a classic Christmas song of his.

The best way to describe this movie, also written by Beatty, is that it is first and foremost, a mood piece. The photography of Tahiti interlaces the whole show as does the dominatingly loud music of the 30s. It leaves you with a sort of Bali High ambiance and the feeling of having drunk a soothing cup of warm tea on a foggy evening.

The camerawork is spectacular. Watch Beatty and Bening walk through the lush green fields of Tahiti with the fog encased mountains as their backdrop. Watch the shadows on their faces on the front porch in Tahiti. The whole show has the warm glow of a Renoir. As a travelogue, as a tour de force in camerawork, and as a mood creator, it is excellent.

Where the movie falls down is the story and the characters. Beatty has a monotonic delivery style which makes it hard to believes he really cares about anything. Bening is SO lovely to look at (OK, OK, Beatty is not too bad looking either), but the lines she gives were not convincing enough for me. Yes, in real life they are a devoted couple, but the romance they displayed in this movie was not believable or interesting. They did have a few memorable lines, but on the whole it just did not click.

I am not a fan of cameo rules by actors approaching senility. Too often the audience just ends up feeling sorry for the actors. Hepburn's performance was an exception to this rule. Her part was important, and she was good in it.

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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