A detective investigating a series of murders becomes involved with a woman who may be the culprit.




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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gina Gallagher / Lonelyheart
Miss Allen
Older Woman
Murdered Man
Raymond Brown


Frank Keller is a New York detective investigating a case of a serial killer who finds the victims through the lonely hearts column in newspapers. Keller falls in love with Helen, the main suspect in the case. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Deception is dangerous. Desire is deadly. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prohibida obsesión  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


$58,571,513 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Scenes with Lorraine Bracco as Pacino's ex-wife were filmed but cut from the final product. They've been restored for TV screenings of Sea of Love (1989). See more »


When Frank visits Helen in the shoe store, she takes his shoe off. He never puts it back on, and he leaves the store in a huff. See more »


Det. Frank Keller: Last time, she walked. Maybe this time I can get prints.
Det. Sherman: Yeah right. What are ya gonna do, Frank? Send your dick to the lab? Man, that'll be a hell of a story in court. "Well, Your Honor, first I whipped it out, then she whipped it out, if you know what I mean."
See more »


Referenced in NCIS: Recoil (2008) See more »


Written by George Khoury and Phil Phillips (as Phillip Baptiste)
Performed by Phil Phillips with the Twilights
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of
PolyGram Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

Great, funny cop thriller. Goodman-Pacino pairing is gold!

Men who've answered personal ads in the lonely hearts column featuring poetry are being found naked, face down on their beds. There are cigarette butts with lipstick on them in their ashtrays. Detective Frank Keller (Al Pacino), along with his sidekick Sherman (John Goodman), decide to enter their own ad in the lonely hearts column, and try to match the killer's fingerprints.

A great premise that definitely justifies making yet another police procedural, this Al Pacino vehicle won this reviewer over, which is hard to do these days with cop thrillers - once you see enough they all start to look the same.

But here we've got a great script, with some terrific wisecracking cop lines, great actors, especially Pacino, Goodman and sexy Ellen Barkin - which make for a very enjoyable ride. Sure the score is a little 80's, and Ellen Barkin may look back and regret that hair-do, but otherwise this is a very successful piece of film.

This is largely due to the terrific screen presence of Al Pacino - he's such a firecracker! And the hugely enjoyable chemistry between partners Pacino and John Goodman. They play off each other so well. The dating scenes are particularly fun - personal highlights for me. And, of course, Ellen Barkin exudes sensuality. Its incredible.

The title may sound pulpy and cheap - but its for good cause. We find out in the first few minutes that its the name of the song the killer was playing when the first murder of the film occured. Its also ironic - the crime-ridden world of this film is anything but a sea of love.

7/10. Must-see for Pacino fans and fans of cop thrillers. For everyone else, not essential, but great saturday night fair.

56 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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