Romance

[7.0] F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most required reading is faithfully script-adapted by Francis Ford Coppola, with Jack Clayton directing a production as lavish as required for the story of the uber-wealthy but mysterious Jay Gatsby. We enter into Gatsby’s opulent world through the eyes of Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway. Robert Redford is superbly cast as the reticent but disarming Gatsby, who ends up roping Carraway …

[6.5] Robert Redford and Natalie Wood headline this Tennessee Williams tale adapted by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Sydney Pollack. Redford plays a railroad representative who comes to a small Mississippi town during the Great Depression to lay off several of the company’s workers. Despite being the bearer of bad news, Redford develops feelings for the local innkeeper’s daughter (Wood), whose mother is essentially …

[7.0] Writer/director Alice Wu tells us in the beginning of The Half of It that none of the characters will get what they want, and she’s not lying. But that won’t stop you from rooting for all three characters in this love triangle. Leah Lewis plays Ellie, a Chinese-American who writes love letters for a jock named Paul (Daniel Diemer) to help him woo Aster …

[6.0] William Wellman’s (Wings, The Ox-Bow Incident) final film is also his most autobiographical, combining his experiences as an American volunteer in the French Legion during World War I with the experiences of a friend who fell in love with a French sex worker. Lafayette Escadrille stars Tab Hunter as the pilot in love, an unruly youth who deserts the Legion and then fights to …

[6.0] Cary Grant and Claude Rains star as British officers whose paths cross time and again on the Eastern front of World War I. The two become friends after Rains saves Grant from Kurdish raiders. Grant then goes on to help Rains move a village to safety and prevent a sneak attack on British troops. The friends part for much of the second act, during …

[5.5] Kate Winslet and Idris Elba star as survivors of a small plane crash who must brave snowy mountain terrain and try to stay alive long enough to find help. I was in the mood for a survival flick when I settled in for The Mountain Between Us, but the film barely delivers the goods on that mark. No, it’s very much a romance movie. …

[7.0] Two high school relay racers (Gijs Blom and Ko Zandvliet) develop a same-sex attraction, but one of the boys is afraid to make their relationship public. This Dutch drama/romance features a likable, competent cast and is shot in several beautiful locations around the Netherlands. As a ‘coming out’ story, it doesn’t break the mold in the slightest, but director Mischa Kamp does a fine …

[7.5] Joaquin Phoenix stars in writer/director Spike Jonze’s sci-fi romance about a divorced man who falls in love with a computer operating system. Her takes place in a not-so-distant future in which society has become increasingly reliant on technology to fulfill our emotional needs. Phoenix’s operating system, named Samantha and voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is constantly evolving. Like a human being, she learns from trial …

[7.0] Joan Collins and Jon-Erik Hexum star in this made-for-TV movie about a young cowboy who moves to New York where a modeling agent believes he can hit it big in ads, commercials, and beyond. Naturally, the cowpoke (the insanely handsome Hexum) begins to fall in love with the agent (Collins) and his career begins to soar. But jealousy soon sets in when Collins sets …

[7.0] Katharine Hepburn stars as a poor young woman trying to enter snobbish social circles to find a husband in this first major film directed by George Stevens (Woman of the Year, Gunga Din). Hepburn’s character eventually lands a doting beau (Fred MacMurray). Her problem then becomes how to disguise the fact that she comes from modest means. I like Alice Adams because it features …

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