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Forever Mine
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Forever Mine More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Slow and largely uninvolving Romantic Drama

Author: Daniel J. Fienberg (d_fienberg) from Los Angeles, CA
6 July 2001

There is a mystery at the heart of Forever Mine, the most recent downturn in writer-director Paul Schrader's roller coaster of a career. The mystery involves a man in the first class section of an airplane to New York, circa 1987. The man looks a little bit like Joseph Fiennes, but he is wearing a goofy make-up job to imply scarring and he is speaking with a goofy accent to add intrigue. And thus the mystery can be summed up with a series of questions: Who? Who is this man? What? What is he going to New York to do, dressed as a drug dealer? And Why? Why would anybody cast Joseph Fiennes for a part that required acting? Sure, Fiennes is perfectly skilled at looking soulful, but anything beyond that -- accent, characterization, etc -- is out of his range.

We cut quickly from the plane to "14 years earlier" where we see Fiennes again, now much younger. We know he's younger because he isn't scarred and he doesn't have a goatee. He also isn't speaking with a thick Cuban accent anymore. He has a strange accent that waffles between British, "American," and "Latino." Fiennes is Alan, a cabana boy at a Miami resort. His friend Javier is trying to convince him that he should enter the drug game to make some real money. But Alan has clearly seen DePalma's Scarface, Blow, and a number of other drug movies and he has more legitimate dreams, starting, apparently, with bedding the wife (Gretchen Mol) of a New York businessman (Ray Liotta). Alan and the wife, Ella, begin perhaps the most public affair in cinema history. They make out down the beach from her husband, they get all kissy at local bars, and then have emotional conversations outside her hotel room. And the husband doesn't find out. But then it's time for the couple leave, but soulful Fiennes cannot let Ella go. We're not really sure why, though. As a character, she's a total cypher. Schrader gives her one or two expositional confessional moments, but that's about it.

So of course the relationship is at least temporarily doomed. But in Schrader's universe we knew that before Alan and Ella even kissed, because we know that she's Catholic and that guilt and morality will quickly come into play. As with several other Schrader works, religious fervor is the central plot device, which leads to Alan's deformity, Ella's regret, and the film's film act.

Beyond the Catholicism, though, there's not much at stake in Forever Mine. The two leads have minimal chemistry and the film is plagued by constant continuity errors and cliched plotting. I was troubled by the fact that the 14 years between the flashback and the framing device had done nothing to age any of characters. And I was perplexed by the fact that even though Alan's friend Javier starts out as the the man with the connections, he ends up as a glorified servant. I didn't understand why Schrader couldn't be bothered to develop either Ella's character or that of her husband. And I was just annoyed by Fiennes's inconsistantcy as an actor.

Schrader seems to be having fun with his own background and the backgrounds of his actors. There appear to be obvious references to Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, while Fiennes's 1987 persona has a strange similarity to Robert DeNiro. And all of the elements seemed to have been in place for a fine film. This was Schrader's follow-up to the minor masterpiece Affliction and Fiennes's follow-up to Shakespeare in Love. It was also Mol's first starring role after Vanity Fair jumped the gun and made her an "It" Girl shortly before the release of several small parts. But really nothing comes together. Schrader plots an affair without any twists or originality beside the Catholic guilt that have always fueled his violent Graham Greene-esque visions. The political context that justifies the period setting is hardly worth the effort. The drug subplot goes nowhere. And when Ella sits reading Madame Bovary to a group of senior citizens, the symbolism is just infantile.

Forever Mine never was released in theaters because the company producing it went under. It premiered on Starz! and moved to video. It's hard to imagine it having any real box office potential under any circumstances. This film is a 3/10 at best.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

An under-hyped, under-rated love it or hate it B-flick sleeper

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
14 January 2002

"Forever Mine" is a somewhat flawed telling of an interesting and unpredictable love triangle story which is built around a solid core cast of under-rated actors (Fiennes, Mol, and Liotta). The film, which takes place over 17 years during which a Florida cabana boy struggles with an evil politician for possession of his wife, begins as a romantic melodrama and turns into a darkly obsessive war of wills. "Forever Mine" suffers from low budget appurtenances (music, sets, props, etc); an uneven flow which runs in the beginning and crawls through the middle; and an unnecessary murder which serves little purpose; etc. Those who can overlook the ragged edges of the film will be rewarded by some excellent performances and an evocative and compelling drama while, as the extremes of's users' perspectives indicate, the more analytical viewers will react quite the opposite. An earnest and interesting love it or hate it sleeper.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing melodrama...

Author: MrGKB from Ohio
15 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

...from an otherwise top-notch writer/director who must have been on one serious bender or another to create something so remarkably mundane, despite some nice work from Gretchen "The Notorious Bettie Page" Mol as Ella, the romantic focus of this half-baked bodice-ripper, and Ray "Goodfellas" Liotta, as the stereotypical shady, possessive, violent husband. Unfortunately, it also features Joseph "Shakespeare in Love" Fiennes taking a paycheck with his eyebrows as the passionate Miami cabana boy who's fallen for Ella and swears undying, smoldering devotion. Everything goes downhill from there, including some of the worst aging and make-up effects I've seen in a feature film in some time. Small wonder it never made it into theaters; I'm sure test audiences roasted it! Of interest only to fans of Mol, who demonstrates the ease with nudity that landed her the titular role in Mary Harmon's classy-but-sassy bio-pic, "The Notorious Bettie Page," or maybe dedicated Liotta followers or Fiennes groupies who can't get enough of their boy. Cinemaphiles will otherwise find nothing of interest to retain in their memory banks. A watch-once DVD, unless maybe you want to hear Schrader's commentary, which so far I haven't and very likely never will. Earns its 5/10 from me strictly on Ms. Mol's charms and precious little else.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
18 November 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein.

Paul Schrader is not someone to be taken lightly -- he's done some very effective work over decades.

Sometimes you wonder whether it will be worth digging when a movie seems so shallow. In this case, digging pays off if you have the DVD, for his commentary is one of the most illuminating I have heard. I watched this three times: once straight on, once with the commentary, and then again. The last time was to try and sort out exactly what went wrong.

The obvious answer is that Mol is neither the actress nor the sexual being that the part demands. And Fiennes is a cold fish. True this is. But why would such an experienced filmmaker not see this? The real answer is more interesting I think: levels of irony and self-reference are the primary currency among Hollywood writers, and he just outgrew his audience.

What I mean is that almost no one makes a film today that is straight, in the sense of real. Okay, but the solution used to be to make a film that is a fantasy -- a fantasy one step removed from reality. Those abstractions are one step away: everything as an idealization of something the viewer might experience firsthand in their out-of-theater life aka real life. But those days are long gone.

Now, we get films that are about other films and the abstractions are multilayered and often folded. Thus, you get films that don't reference dynamics of real life, but dynamics of a prior film fantasy. The more sophisticated of these carry some commentary: satire, reversals, ironic twists or deflations. Or in the case of love stories, those fantasies, abstractions and commentaries are used as the definition itself of sex, even love.

Schrader's career has shown him to be always ahead of the crowd in the number of abstractions and their novelty. Here he goes way beyond zebra, and in a short section of the commentary tells us why.

He intended to make an abstraction of an old `beauty' film that was so beautiful and true (to the original) that it would go beyond camp to hip. This is what the man said, and I believe him. That he missed means he was either too far out in front of us, or that he's in front of us on a different road. I think the former is true, because people like him direct our appetite for popular abstraction.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Very bad screenplay, spectacular Gretchen Mol.

Author: James B. from madison, wi.
13 March 2001

"Forever Mine" is not a good film. The script is highly formulaic and dull, the characters are one-dimensional, there are several holes in the plot, and the ending manages to be both cliched and unsatisfying. It is worth watching only for two nude scenes from the wonderful and lovely Gretchen Mol, who hasn't done much of that at all. If you're a fan of hers, you won't be disappointed here.

Watching this cheese, I was reminded of "Strange Days", where Joseph Fiennes' brother Ralph was locked inside a picture almost as bad as this one. The Fiennes brothers certainly can act, and Joseph does his best here to keep the wooden lines fresh. Gretchen Mol lights up the screen no matter what she's in, but one can only wonder why these very good actors are stuck in such a bad movie. Weren't there any more intelligent scripts around to do than this one? Ray Liotta is strictly on auto-pilot for this film.

The story here is simple - jealousy, adultery, revenge, etc. Movies like this put some basic elements together, and then count on the magnetism of the stars to enlist the audience's attention. But if the characters have nothing but stupid lines to say, how can we care about them? 4/10, and only Mol's scenes make me go that high.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Schrader's most demented ever (and yeah, I remember Rolling Thunder)

Author: matthew wilder ( from los angeles
1 November 2000

We all know that Paul Schrader is a sober son of the Dutch

Reformation Church. Still, I'd love to have a taste of the

crack he was smoking when he wrote this flaming lulu, a

painfully sincere and heartfelt tribute to undying love that

suggests Stanley Kubrick singing "Love Theme from Mahogany" a cappella.

Apparently an attempt to capture the spirit of Scott Spencer's novel "Endless Love" (so famously lost by Franco Zeffirelli), FOREVER MINE posits Joseph Fiennes

(he of the smoldering, gotta-have-you eyebrows) as a Miami cabana boy who messes with the wrong guy's wife--Gretchen Mol as the secretarial cutie who married

gnarly Mr. Big (Ray Liotta). Before you can say AGAINST

ALL ODDS, Mr. Big is coming down hard on Cabana Boy--only, in Schrader's world, this means more mutilations, burials alive, disguises, funny accents, and

villainous moustache-twirlings than in the entirety of

Shakespeare's CYMBELINE.

Schrader claimed he wanted to go back to the nineteenth

century. And indeed, the over-the-top melodrama suggests

a desperate attempt to flee fin-de-siecle irony. But it's

always a train wreck when cerebral directors try to let go of

their book-learning and Open Themselves to Feeling. FOREVER MINE suggests a cable-movie version of Robert Bresson's two wackadoody salutes to cute young boys, FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER and THE DEVIL PROBABLY; Fiennes greets Mol in a seedy motel room on which he has spray painted the words, "GIVE ALL TO LOVE." (That was the tagline of the movie's abortive theatrical run.) Like Kubrick in EYES WIDE SHUT, Schrader

tries to peel off his layers of coldness and ratiocination--but

any movie that opens with a quote from Walter Pater suggests that the filmmaker is more suited to analyzing

melodrama than expressing it.

For all the tropical gloss put on it by the great cinematographer John Bailey, FOREVER MINE has a giggle-inducing quality that's unique even to bad Schrader

movies. (In one scene, Fiennes leaves an ambivalent Mol

in her hotel room. As he walks away, he bumps his head

into a palm frond, stops, and seems to look back at the

palm frond. Fade to black. Does Schrader equate Douglas

Sirk with Ed Wood?) Now that he's expressed his inner lovesick sap, maybe Schrader can go back to who he really

is--a cold, alienated, God-haunted, overeducated freak

from Michigan who's also the greatest living writer of


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Like 'em hot? This will do it for ya

Author: Christopher jones ( from South Florida
30 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those features that played late at night on HBO, so I figured I would watch since I like Joseph Fiennes and Ray Liotta. I'd never have paid to see it, given the plot summary, but I was very impressed with this pot boiler of a love triangle. It is a definite case of style over substance, but the plot remains plausible enough for those who are true romantics and who feel that those truly destined for one another will go to great lengths to be together. I must admit that the facial scarring of a primary character should not have been enough to fool those close to him, but beyond that I had no problem with the assumed identity device. On a lighter note, I have to say that Gretchen Mol looks sensational here. How much so? I 'bat for the other team,' yet noticed that Ms. Mol's breasts looked exquisite in the tasteful semi-nude scenes. I can see why her character was pursued so authentically by Fiennes throughout the feature. If you liked the original 'Postman Always Rings Twice,' this is a good companion piece.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The worst film you should never watch

Author: gvlees from Kirkkonummi, Finland
1 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Please spare yourself. It is humorless without merit. The dual role played by the unbearably unwatchable and quasi-intense Fiennes (proving acting is not a genetic trait), is excruciating bizarre and Gretchen Mol must have wondered after and hour of plodding dialog how she was not supposed to realize that the new mysterious Hispanic guy was her old flame. It's really bad. The only faintly amusing scene is where Ray Liotta acts so frustratedly since the rest of the cast were so - duh - lifeless. When he later says he is going to kill everyone I really thought it would be Fiennes, Mol, then the director, the screenplay writer (same guy, maybe), the cameraman before turning it on himself. Even the ending is so cheesy I felt the audience should have been on life-support. I kid you not. Terrible. Not for "connoisseurs of the simply awful", it's not that interesting. I'm sorry I couldn't give it less than zero. Some people gave it a ten. How? They misread the instructions? They are in the film, maybe? Liotta would give it a zero, I'm sure. Watch something else!!!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

So so close to being a great film

Author: Kristine ( from Chicago, Illinois
12 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to admit, I was looking for a romance movie. Why? I'm not sure. I have to figure it out first. Getting onto the movie, I was in the mood for this type of genre, so maybe that's why I kinda liked it.

Joseph Fiennes, I have been seeing him quite often now. I have now seen 4 of his movies, and he is very sexy, I give him that. But he gets practically the same role in every film that I've seen him in. What's with the cheating on his spouse or making the girl leave her boyfriend for him? I... I... ah, well! In some ways I can see a girl leaving their ex behind for him. He does do a great job in the film.

Ray Liotta, what a great bad guy! I've probably seen him in about 4 or 5 films, among one of my favorites "Goodfellas". He's an excellent actor who is very under rated. The problem is, again, stereotyping. He's always the villain. Even though he is a very good one at that, I'd like to see him in a different role. But his acting in here, more mob than insanely jealous husband.

That girl, sorry, don't remember her name, she wasn't too bad. But she wasn't too convincing. In some ways the passion lacked a little on her side, she could've put more into being tossed between her husband and the man she truly loves.

The story is actually very good. Even though not original, I wouldn't actually mind buying the film for a good price. It's nothing special, but it's a decent flick I would recommend.

7/10-Almost there.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Painful. One of the worst I've seen this year

Author: christo_dop from Colorado
12 October 2000

I saw this film at the Telluride Film Festival. People were walking out, but I stuck it out. Wish I hadn't. Shlocky story, contrived and boring characters. The only thing mildly interesting was to see the revenge plot play out and that was a disapointment as well. Pass on this one.

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