A story of love and enchantment set in the coldest of winters, it explores the issues, dilemmas and barriers facing the lucky and unlucky in love in the 21st Century, based on the novel of ... See full summary »
A story of love and enchantment set in the coldest of winters, it explores the issues, dilemmas and barriers facing the lucky and unlucky in love in the 21st Century, based on the novel of the same name by Pullitzer Prize-winning author Carol Shields. Tom is a charismatic late-night radio talk show host, whose unconventional upbringing has made him a little too quick to fall in love and marry, resulting in three divorces before the age of 40. Fay is his total opposite; her romantic ideal has not yet been attained and is unlikely ever to be due to her impossibly high expectations as a result of living with the perfection that is her parents' rock solid marriage. This unlikely pairing proves the rule that in love, there are no rules and the couple meet and fall deeply in love at first sight. All is faultless, until Fay's parents' marriage breaks down suddenly, out of nowhere, after 40 years of wedded bliss. Fay and their relationship are thrown into turmoil. Will Tom be able to persuade... Written by
An Intelligent Script from a Pulitzer Prize Novelist Delivered by a Top Cast!
THE REPUBLIC OF LOVE is yet another fine film from Canada based on Canadian Pulitzer Prize Winner (for 'The Stone Diaries') Carol Shields' novel by the same name, and written for the screen and directed by the gifted Deepa Mehta ('Earth', 'Fire', 'Water', etc). It is a satisfying story about the human boundaries set by/for love and how those 'republics' touch and clash and interact.
Tom Avery (the very gifted actor Bruce Greenwood) was an illegitimate child, raised by a homemaker class as a teaching lesson in how young brides to be should learn the skills of tending house, who has grown up, married three times out of a need for belonging and for being loved, and is currently unattached, making his living as a night talk show host helping the lonely hearts. Into his life steps the beautiful museum curator, currently immersed in a Mermaid exhibition, by the name of Fay (Emilia Fox) who remains single because of her exceptionally high demands for a partner. The two meet, fall immediately in love much to their individual surprise, and proceed to court and encounter other couples (especially their parents) who seem to hold the winning medals for perfect marriage.
Fay's parents (James Fox is Richard, the father) have just celebrated their anniversary when Richard abruptly decides to leave his wife. Fay runs to her mother's rescue, leaving Tom alone and the apparent brunt of Fay's disillusion of marriage. The changes that occur cause Tom to reflect on his history of marrying too often in unions that have not met with success. How Fay and Tom ultimately resolve the abutments of their personal republics is the part of the story that carries the film.
The entire cast includes some of Canada's finest actors and the film is solidly directed by Mehta. There are aspects that disrupt the flow of the story, the main one being the incessant and very loud East Indian music that seems wholly out of place and is at best distracting (the score was written by Talvin Singh). Mehta also elects to throw in some bizarre cutesy animation at the end that for this viewer cheapens the story. But flaws aside, this is a fine film graced by the presence of Bruce Greenwood and Emilia Fox. Recommended entry from Film Movement. Grady Harp
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