Romance

[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 …

[5.0] A New York city social worker becomes pregnant and decides she’d rather raise the baby with her gay best friend than with the baby’s father. But when their romantic desires begin to undercut their family goals, frustration gets the better of both of them. I almost like The Object of My Affection. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd star in it, and they are both …

[5.0] Eleanor Parker stars as a mail-order bride to a lonely South American cocoa plantation farmer played by Charlton Heston. When she first meets her husband, she’s taken back by his brutish behavior. The two decide maybe marrying each other without ever meeting was probably a bad idea. But before Parker can catch the next boat out of the jungle, a 20-mile wide army of …

[5.0] Josh Hartnett stars as a guy so obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, that it haunts any attempt to start a new relationship. So he gives up sex for Lent — right before accidentally meeting Mrs. Right (Shannyn Sossamon). While his friends and co-workers lay bets on how soon he’ll break his vow of celibacy, Hartnett struggles to find a way to win over Sossamon when …

[7.5] Writer/director John Duigan (The Year My Voice Broke, Lawn Dogs) takes an earnest and engaging stab at the ‘boy meets girl and falls in love’ narrative with Flirting. Noah Taylor stars as an ostracized Australian boarding school student in the 1950s who becomes infatuated with a new Ugandan student (Thandie Newton) from a nearby girls’ school. As the two avoid their headmasters for clandestine …

[9.0] Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made their first pairing in this adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel about an American boatman (Bogart) who reluctantly sticks his neck out for the French Resistance in World War II Martinique. Along the way he falls in love with a sultry young singer (Bacall) and risks more lives than his own when he agrees to give a pair of …

[6.0] Winona Ryder and Cher give us their take on the classic mother/daughter divide in this adaptation of a novel by Patty Dann, directed by Richard Benjamin (The Money Pit, Little Nikita). Ryder’s character is of high school age and tired of being moved from town to town by her colorful but slightly slutty single mom (Cher). Things become especially trying when the family (including …

[2.5] John Travolta returns under the curious direction of Sylvester Stallone for this sequel to the mega-hit Saturday Night Fever. But whereas Saturday Night Fever was a sincere story about a young man with big dreams and lessons to learn, Staying Alive is just a plodding procedural love-triangle that climaxes in an over-the-top music number of camp proportions. Travolta’s Tony Manero character seems to have …

[6.5] Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty star in this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s novel about an aging starlet (Leigh) who becomes a widow while vacationing in Italy. She reluctantly agrees to let a scheming contessa (Lotte Lenya) set her up with a handsome gigolo (Beatty). The two seem at first to have a grounded understanding of their relationship, but things become more complicated when Leigh …

[3.0] It’s not Tim Matheson or Kate Capshaw’s fault. Really, it isn’t. Both of them are plenty attractive and charismatic to carry a film like this. The problem is that A Little Sex is a boiled-down reduction of every rom-com ever made. Matheson plays a guy who talks his long-time female buddy (Capshaw) into getting married. But since he can’t keep his wiener zipped up, …

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