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Writer and first-time director Anthony Minghella lays on the whimsy a bit thick at times, but his wryly funny and heartfelt observations on sorrow go down much easier than the Hollywood brand of lump-in-the-throat histrionics.
This sharply scripted study of a bereaved woman who literally wishes her partner back from the grave is an impressive directorial bow by British playwright Anthony Minghella. Despite surface similarities with Ghost pic has a different feel and theme.
Chicago Reader
If the relatively prosaic Minghella, making his movie debut, lacks the suggestive poetic sensibility of Lewton, he does a fine job in capturing the contemporary everyday textures of London life, and coaxes a strong performance out of Stevenson, a longtime collaborator. Full of richly realized secondary characters and witty oddball details, this is a beguiling film in more ways than one.
This is a wonderful, disarming film, sort of like Ghost, but with all the Hollywood drained from it, leaving nothing on screen but the truth of the matter. Which is the way it should be, of course.
Truly, Madly, Deeply, a truly odd film, maddening, occasionally deeply moving.
Labelled by many critics as a "thinking person's Ghost," Truly, Madly, Deeply is sensitively written and charmingly acted. Juliet Stevenson brings tremendous depth to a role that was created specifically for her, and Alan Rickman proves himself capable of something quite different from the bad-guy roles for which he's best known.
Truly Madly Deeply is a truly, madly, deeply romantic film, and Stevenson and Rickman have a natural rapport. What distinguishes the film more than that is the uncommon intelligence with which Minghella approaches this fanciful situation.
In Truly, Madly, Deeply comparisons with "Ghost" are inevitable. But this British production, starring Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman, takes a wide berth around the kind of button-pushing found in "Ghost." It presses with lighter fingers.
A divisive film - too overwrought for some, perfectly emotionally pitched for others - how much it will appeal will depend on how romantically inclined the viewer is feeling.
Truly, Madly, Deeply should be enchanting, but it isn't. Everyone pushes too hard, especially Mr. Minghella, the writer and director. There are a few amusing lines and a lot of terrible ones, including Nina's overwrought response, early in the film, when her sister wants to borrow Jamie's cello: "It's like asking me to give you his body!"

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