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An American film-star and an unknown British actress meet on set in Rome. She is angry when he refuses to speak to her journalist father, but later they have a passionate relationship. Written by
Michael Crew <email@example.com>
This film gained a bit of notoriety when it was first released in the UK when the BBFC asked for some of Greta Scacchi's love scene to be cut because her body was on view for too long, but more of that later. The backdrop to this film is the making of a film about Italian writer Cesare Pavese who committed suicide after his affair with American actress Constance Dowling came to an end. The writers could have invented a fictitious scenario instead of using a real person so perhaps someone had a personal interest in Pavese.
Steve Elliott (Peter Coyote) arrives in Rome to make a film about Cesare Pavese and chooses Jane Steiner (Greta Scacchi) to be the love interest. As work progresses, so Steve and Jane fall for each other, a scenario which happens all too frequently in real life. To complicate matters, Steve's family arrive in Rome and so Steve and Jane must tread carefully in their affair. The title should have been A Woman In Love. It is Jane rather than Steve who seems to be the person in love. She is the one who longs to be with him and runs to him when they meet at the airport, but it becomes obvious that Steve is never going to leave his family so this clandestine affair is set for failure. This film is more than a story about two people, it is about relationships in the family and between friends and the coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
The film is certainly a lavish production with big names such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Claudia Cardinale, as well as location shooting in Rome and Paris. There is an intriguing scene in a theatre where a rehearsal for a play called La Veillee (The Evening) is taking place. It looks like a comedy set in a restaurant. The way the camera pans from a poster of the play to the stage suggests more than a hint of advertising.
This film is a bit of a rarity in the UK. It was released on VHS in 1988 and then disappeared with no UK DVD release so far. This review is from a French DVD. The picture ratio is 2.35:1 with English or French audio but there are no English subtitles for the occasional French and Italian dialogue. The scene which caused the BBFC to get hot under the collar occurs when Steve and Jane are in bed doing their lesbian fantasy thing. It was cut by 25 seconds. In total, the UK VHS ran for 106 minutes whilst the French DVD runs for 115 minutes. It is interesting rather than enthralling so 7 stars.
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