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Dallas housewife Lurene Hallett's life revolves around the doings of Jacqueline Kennedy. She is devastated when President Kennedy is shot a few hours after she sees him arrive in Dallas. Despite her husband Ray's prohibition, she decides to attend the funeral in Washington, D.C. Forced to travel by bus, she befriends Jonell, the young black daughter of Paul Couter. Sensing something wrong, her good intentioned interference leads the mixed race threesome on an increasingly difficult journey to Washington with both the police and Ray looking for them. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Love Field" was a film that came and went without much fanfare. It was shown on cable recently, so we decided to take a chance with it. Jonathan Kaplan makes an impression with his unusual take on the subject of the race relations in the United States of the early 60s that pays a great deal of respect to the era in which it takes place. The film shows how things were in this country in the years where segregation was still enforced in the land.
If you haven't watched the movie, please stop reading now.
Lurene, the young woman at the center of the story was in awe of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy. The former first lady had such magnetic quality and charisma that it was easy to see why she was so admired and imitated by all women in America in the early 60s. After all, Mrs. Kennedy was royalty in a country that supposedly has no class differences. Jackie's sense of style was imitated by most women; after all, she was an elegant, vibrant and youthful woman who all wanted to adore.
The story presents a situation that rings false from the beginning. Lurene was only a step above of what would be considered white trash, therefore, her relationship with Paul Cater and Jonell, is hard to believe because of the woman's background. Lurene is kind hearted, but one wonders to what extend would someone in her station in life would have done in a real situation like the director presents in the picture.
As far as what we watch in the film, making allowances for Lurene's open mind and understanding about segregation and discrimination, the movie is easy to watch. In pairing Michelle Pfeiffer with a handsome Dennis Haysbert, who has already been seen in a similar role in "Far from Heaven", one can see why these two lost souls were attracted to one another. We can understand Lurene's sense of decency, as well as Paul's falling for Lurene when reason and logic would tell him to stay away from this white woman. Even in the big Northern cities where racial discrimination was not as blatant as in the deep South, integrated couples were a rarity in the early 60s.
Michelle Pfeiffer makes a compelling Lurene, the girl who is a decent human being. This role is a stretch for Ms. Pfeiffer, an actress not associated with dramatic parts that make such demands on her. Dennis Haysbert is good as the troubled Paul, a man that only wants to do his best for this daughter he is bringing back to Philadelphia. Stephanie McFadden is sweet as the young girl who can't comprehend what's going on around her. Finally, Louise Latham, as Mrs. Enright, is the only one that shows any decency to the situation in which she gets involved against her will.
While the movie doesn't break any grounds in racial relations, at least it has the courage to show how wrong segregation was and how prevalent it was in the United States.
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