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|Index||55 reviews in total|
This is a love story, of sorts, which conflicts the viewer in that it
tenderly presents this tragic heroine and then shocks the audience by
eloquently demonstrating the ins and outs of the moderate-to-severe
bi-polar disorder, with which the heroine attempts to live.
(The mother states her daughter suffers from depression, but Drew's depiction does NOT indicate depression alone. There are extreme highs and bottom-dipping lows, which would be more indicative of manic depression or bi-polar disorder than depression alone. Not to minimize the life-changing effects of clinical or chemical depression, because I'm not.)
Drew generates a stellar performance here, and fully sells the range of emotions her character experiences. Her portrayal is dead on perfect; in not just the disease itself, but her depth and range here is nothing short of phenomenal.
Chris O'Donnell is not as lacking as some would make one believe. He contributes an adequate performance as a young man without a clue; therefore, his character is vastly disliked because he comes off as clueless, and movie-goers associated him with the character. Go figure.
This work is seriously underrated, primarily due to the unsatisfactorily heart-wrenching ending, but also due to the audiences inability to conceive of Drew as anything but bubbly and intelligent. She customarily takes parts in which her character is put in a sweet (if rose-colored) light, whereas her role herein is quite edgy and tragic.
The screenplay itself is not solid. The flux is very fluid within this story. The only solid thing here are the performances by Drew and Chris, and the profound sadness and sense of loss experienced by its viewers via the execution of the story line.
I actually enjoyed this, though the ending IS unsettling and fails to satisfy.
It rates an 8.4/10 from...
the Fiend :.
It seems like the title of this movie was chosen at the last minute by the guy in the business suit. "So it's about a coupla teenagers, let's say they're 'in love', and one of them has mental problems, let's call her crazy..." The film itself though, I think, resists cliches, especially the fact that the four letter word (love) was avoided, which has a tendency to suck dry any useful plot content that might be found in a movie, opting for some different ways of illustrating their relationship. The two main characters are well portrayed, and believable. I think Barrymore and O'Donnell hold together something that may not have great elements like soundtrack, plot originality etc, because despite the fact that Drew's eyebrows really annoyed me, they both did a good job.
The high-school student Matt Leland (Chris O'Donnell) lives with his
twin brother and sister and his father in a house by the lake. When the
teenager Casey Roberts (Drew Barrymore) moves to the house on the other
side of the lake, Matt snoops into her room with his telescope. They
meet each other and soon they fall in love with each other. One day,
Matt is taking a test at school and Casey activates the fire alarm to
stop the test. She is suspended and her father decides to check her
into a psychiatric institution. However Matt breaks her out of the
hospital. They travel in Matt's car and have lots of fun until the day
Matt discovers that Casey has bipolar disorder with periods of
depression and periods of elevated mood. When she tries to commit
suicide, Matt realizes that she needs specialized help.
"Mad Love" is a road movie with a tale of madness and sort of teen version of "The Girl from Trieste". Matt Leland is a good student and son that changes his behavior when he falls in love with the maniac depressive Casey that has arrived from Chicago. When she is interned in an institution, he believes that her family is unfair with the girl. But when he realizes that her mental illness is serious and dangerous, he contacts her family and they find the solution for her treatment. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Amor Louco" ("Mad Love")
Chris O'Donnell heats up the screen and Drew Barrymore is at her sensual best in this motion picture about two teens who take an adventure together against parental wishes. I admit the first time I saw this movie last summer I didn't like it at all. But when I gave it a second try, I actually found it was really good. Because the movie isn't packed with laughs or memorable quotes, I had missed a lot of what made the movie such a good one in it's subtle, yet charming way (the first time I saw it). When I watched it a second time, however, I payed a lot more attention to the movie itself and saw that it did have delight, great acting talent and other positive notes. As well as this, the directing was fine and there were some really good shots through the characters' road trip in the movie. This is one interesting picture. A must-see! Rating: Three out of Five stars.
Like many other reviewers, I feel this is a poor movie (screenplay), but Drew really captures the feeling of mental illness. I've known some people who are manic depressive (and a few schizophrenics) and I have to say that Drew must have some personal knowledge of severe depression to be able to pull off a performance like this. She really elevates the movie from a 2-bit teen romance and makes it worth watching. I'm not generally a fan (*hated* Donnie Darko) and I usually find her childish "damaged goods" image rather irritating even though it may be her real personality, but in this one she just embodies the part. 6/10.
"Mad Love" isn't one of the all time great films, however it is my favorite bad movie. I think that Drew Barrymore is charming and this movie allows her to be a little crazy and very beautiful. Chris O'Donnell is definately eye candy in this little gem. The filmmakers tried to use colour and imagery in an artistic manner. Watch the blue and whites of the film, and check out the symbolic use of butterflies. Although the usage isn't necessarily intellectual, there is a valient stab at being artistic. I think that another interesting aspect of this film is in comparing it to "Scent of a Woman". I feel that these two films are essentially the same, with the notable exception of Al Pacino vs. Drew Barrymore. Really though, "Scent of A Woman" has Chris as a good boy who goes on the lam with Al. Al does all sorts of crazy things, such as driving despite being blind, and eventually holds a gun to Chris. In "Mad Love", Chris is a good boy who goes on the lam with Drew. Drew does all sorts of crazy things, such as covering Chris' eyes while he is driving, and eventually holds a gun to Chris. Coincidence??
Well, I have to say I really did like this movie. I went in expecting to hate it. I really tried hard to hate it. Normally I hate the "romantic mush" type films, but... this movie actually transcended that. Instead of focusing mainly on the love, they focused on the mental illness. Heh, I have some issues myself, so I was able to relate quite a bit to her character. I'm severely agoraphobic, so I'd never run away, lol. I love Drew Barrymore. I think she's sexy through and through, absolutely adorable to boot. I will give any movie with her in it a chance. Some I loathe, some I like, some I love. "NEVER BEEN KISSED" is one that I loathe... But oh my, she was so cute! - I say everyone should give this movie a chance. Ignore the "violent" behavior and the irrational behavior, because you can't properly portray such a mental illness without it. I also don't think a movie dealing with mental illness to this depth should be rated R. I love that this film showed that those of us with mental illness are people too. We too have feelings. I wish I'd watched it sooner rather than just assuming I'd probably not like it.
This wasn't necessarily a bad movie, but it wasn't that good either. It desperately tried to cash in on the teen audience, with a "hip" cast and soundtrack, but as a teenager I couldn't really relate. Chris O'Donnell's performance was pretty bland, but Drew spiced it up a bit. It started to get better towards the end when we finally got to see the extent of Drew's depression, but the first 3/4 of the movie was such a paint by numbers approach to a romance that I'm not sure that it was worth the wait. Leaves little to criticize, but even less to praise.
Matt Leland (Chris O'Donnell) has talkative best friend Eric (Matthew
Lillard). Matt is taken with new girl Casey Roberts (Drew Barrymore).
They begin a wild relationship. She gets suspended and her parents put
her away. He helps her escape the psych ward and they go on a road
trip. However, her manic depressive state gets more volatile and beyond
his ability to help.
I never bought Chris O'Donnell as a romantic lead. He's too white bread and doesn't have the passion. This is love at first sight and who can blame him. Drew can do that to many men but I don't see them as Romeo and Juliet. Drew is convincing with mental illness but it is a little overwrought. I'm not really that invested in this relationship. This is a lesser 90s teen melodrama.
Shirtless in Seattle, handsome blue-eyed Chris O'Donnell (as Matt
Leland) has his telescope trained on jiggling blonde Drew Barrymore (as
Casey Roberts). Later, the sexy high school seniors go to a concert by
themselves, which is strange, and do some head-banging. They skip
school and have fun driving her yellow Volkswagen around town. These
two are attractive, affluent and in love. However, something seems
wrong. To be with Mr. O'Donnell during a test, Ms. Barrymore pulls the
school fire alarm. "What are you, nuts?" asks O'Donnell. "Yeah," she
replies. This turns out to be true...
Director Antonia Bird gets all her spark plugs in line for a fine sequence involving traveling salesman Liev Schreiber...
Barrymore seems emotionally disturbed, with a confidential diagnosis. After a suicide attempt, she is committed. O'Donnell helps her bust out of the mental hospital and they go on a joyride to Mexico. Barrymore's road "games" are so obviously over the top, it's a stretch to believe O'Donnell doesn't catch on faster. Possibly, it would have worked better if writer Paula Milne gave him some substance abuse; the character seems too level-headed. Barrymore and O'Donnell look great together, but are unconvincing as an amateur "Bonnie and Clyde". Besides, it looks like car theft is legal in the southwest.
***** Mad Love (5/26/95) Antonia Bird ~ Chris O'Donnell, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Dunn, Liev Schreiber
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