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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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On Valentine's Day is the central film in Horton Foote's semi-autobiographical trilogy that also includes Courtship and 1918. It is a nearly verbatim retelling of his stage play and the sets and costumes.
Philipe Gastone, a thief, escapes from the dungeon at Aquila, sparking a manhunt. He is nearly captured when Captain Navarre befriends him. Navarre has been hunted by the Bishop's men for two years, ever since he escaped with the Lady Isabeau who the Bishop has lusted after. Navarre and Isabeau have a curse that the Bishop has placed on them that causes Navarre to be a wolf during the night and Isabeau to be a hawk during the day. Navarre insists that Philipe help him re-enter the city to help him kill the heavily guarded Bishop. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Do a little dance, make a little love, become a wolf tonight
It's funny - my two clearest memories of this film were off the mark in completely opposite ways. I remembered Matthew Broderick being deeply annoying; as it turns out he's just mildly irritating. And I remembered the soundtrack being bad; but good God, it's *appalling*. Whoever decided that a tragic, touching supernatural romance would be best accompanied by funky 70s synthesisers (I don't think they're fitting enough to even be classed as 80s) should be forced to eat their own afro. Yes, all of it. I can honestly say I have never heard a less appropriate musical score in my entire life. It's not that it's bad, exactly - it'd probably work pretty well if the lead character was, say, Shaft.
Still, when the crazy disco beats aren't violating the atmosphere, there's some good stuff going on. Richard Donner already had serious directing experience under his belt in 1985, and Ladyhawke is beautifully shot and paced with some gorgeous scenery to take in. There's just enough action (they give it some proper welly in those swordfights), John Wood provides a proper boo-hiss malicious villain, the dialogue never quite slips into melodrama despite teetering on the edge occasionally, and it's always a pleasure to watch Rutger Hauer in one of his few good roles before he degenerated into self-parody. (Well, if we're being honest it's a pleasure to watch him in his godawful recent stuff as well, but for different reasons.) Above all the film's got heart, which is more than you can say for 95% of the cack that Hollywood churns out, and it deserves some small credit for that at least.
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