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|Index||52 reviews in total|
Greetings again from the darkness. Director Robert Benton has only made
11 movies in 35 years. What is consistent with each of his films is the
way he peels back the layers of humanity. He really explores the
different personalities in people. Think of the Hoffman/Streep split in
"Kramer vs. Kramer" and you will see the similarities with the break-up
here of Greg Kinnear and Selma Blair. The number of intimate moments
and personal insecurities are too many to count ... just like real
Rarely do you see one partner slap the other in the midst of an affair when the one slapping is trying to lecture the soon-to-be-married other one that her morals need to be straightened out before she weds. In other words ... do as I say, not as I do. Another good story line involved two young broken people who try to accept that life and love can be good. Played well by Toby Hemingway and a stunning Alexa Davalos, the two lovers have overcome much in their lives and certainly appreciate the bond they have.
The best story line in the film is the magic of Morgan Freeman and Jane Alexander, playing the oldest interracial couple I can remember seeing on film. They are both hurting deeply from the loss of a son, yet the strength of their relationship allows them to deal with grief in separate ways, while still being there for each other. Two excellent performances.
The center of the film is the lovable, clueless, hopeless-romantic played by underrated actor Greg Kinnear. We see two relationships (Selma Blair and Radha Mitchell) end badly for him, yet he clings to his belief that LOVE is what it's all about.
I like how the only kids involved in this real world mess are old enough to make their own decisions. It would have been easy to toss in a kid or two to tug even harder at the tear ducts, but this remained an adult story for adults ... and there are far too few of these. Be forewarned , this is no light-hearted chick flick. It could be termed a romantic drama but more accurately a human drama.
I was down from Maine last week and was lucky enough to attend a screening of Feast of Love in New York City. I can't stop thinking about this film. It raises so many questions. What makes us fall in love with someone? If you love a person enough can you make them fall in love with you? With all the people who cross your path why do you fall in love with one but not the others? What is it that makes you fall in love with someone at first sight? How could you be married to someone and not have any idea that that person no longer loves you back? In the end the film gives hope to all of us who have loved and lost that we can find love again, and that that love can come in many different forms and configurations. The movie made me laugh and made me cry. The acting was wonderful and I felt the characters heartbreak as well as their blind optimism. The nude scenes, although explicit, were a natural as part of the relationships of the characters. If you're looking for a film to make you laugh, make you cry and make you think then this would be a good film for you. One of the best movies I've seen in a long time.
My wife an I saw this a few days ago, a late show on a Friday which we thought might be crowded. But, only two other people were in the theater. That does not bode well for the box office for this film. We both enjoyed it. Once again Morgan Freemen does a great job as the wise old man knowing just what to say and do. He always is a joy to watch. The story is a indeed a feast of love, with multiple types of love unfolding among all the characters. The character of Diana (Radha Mitchell) is particularly well done if not very sympathetic. And Greg Kinnear plays his likable "I'm just a dupe of love" character equally well. A well done movie on relationships and their complexity, but without the non-stop action young fans want in films this will likely only get a niche audience in theaters with most folks waiting for the DVD or cable to check this one out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bradley (Greg Kinnear) owns a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon called Jitters. He has been married for six years to Kathryn (Selma Blair), a tomboy-type who loves softball. Bradley introduces her, after a game, to his favorite customer, Harry (Morgan Freeman), a professor who is temporarily on leave from his job, due to the death of a child. Harry, a very intuitive and wise man, married to a loving lady (Jane Alexander), sees immediately that Kathryn has eyes for another female softball player. In short order, Kathryn calls it quits with Bradley, leaving him very despondent. However, a beautiful real estate agent named Diana (Radha Mitchell) soon warms his heart again. But, alas, she is having a secret affair with a married man named David (Billy Burke), even though she becomes quite close to Bradley as well. Then, too, Bradley has two young employees, Chloe and Oscar, who soon fall in love and move in together. But, Oscar's abusive father, The Bat (Fred Ward, very scary), makes things difficult for them from time to time. In fact, how strong are the chances for happiness among these fine people of Portland? If you saw the trailers, you might think this was a romantic comedy. Not so, not by far. It is a romantic drama with some comic elements but a great deal of in-your-face depressing reality, too. That is not to say it is not worthwhile, for it is, but no one will be humming a tune when he or she exits the theater. All of the principal players are quite good, bringing depth to a story that could be dismissed, at times, as being overly melodramatic. As for the Portland scenery, it is lovely, as are the costumes and camera work. Benton, the director, has not been at the helm of a film for quite some time but he clearly shows he has not lost his touch. On the other hand, this film is rated R and for good reason, as it definitely has some sexually-charged scenes. In brief, if you are drawn to films that include romantic drama and sharp character studies, this movie might do for you. Also, fans of the cast will want to see it, too. But, be forewarned that some tears might fall and that the experience overall will be bittersweet.
This movie had touched me so much, that I had to share it. I had never
watched that kind of movie ever! It's completely original and it keeps
your mind and sight on it. It's not like the other love stories, when
the guy is heartbroken and the movie shows how miserable he is and than
suddenly he finds the girl on his dreams and they live happily ever
after. In life doesn't happen like that, you met a lot more, before the
right one and the movie shows it too.
I'd never liked so much Morgan Freeman till now. Maybe because I'd never seen him in this genre. He acts like a wise man, which had been trough a lot and he gives real and sensible advices. I especially liked the end; it just fits so right to the whole movie. It shows that there are bad people, but if we stick to the good ones we can be happy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It is always puzzling when films of the caliber of FEAST OF LOVE are
short-lived in the theaters, usually scantily attended in the shadows
of the big, mean, noisy blockbusters. And when film buffs begin to
believe that the meaningful movies only come from foreign sources, out
pops the DVD release of a jewel like this film, a story so well written
(Allison Burnett), directed (Robert Benton), and acted by a gifted cast
to show under scrutiny that it is the equal of the best of the
Based on a novel by Charles Baxter (and adapted by Allison Burnett, another extraordinary writer of his own novels CHRISTOPHER: A TALE OF SEDUCTION and THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL), the story takes place in Portland, Oregon and examines the lives and love stories of myriad characters, each of whom is connected in some way to the father confessor of the town, one elderly professor Harry Stevenson (Morgan Freeman) who not only narrates the threads of the people's lives that round out this film, but also plays a significant role as a father of an only son who died in the recent past from a heroin overdose, a man bruised and experienced in the vagaries of life, supported by his wife Esther (Jane Alexander), both of whom cope with their loss by extending their love to young people.
Bradley Thomas (Greg Kinnear) is an artist and an optimist who own Jitters, a coffee shop, and is married to Kathryn (Selma Blair) who loves sports...and leaves him for a woman who awakens her lesbian longings. A young recovering drug abuser Oscar (Toby Hemingway) works in Bradley's shop and in a magic moment falls in love with a sensitive free spirit named Chloe (Alexa Davalos) and is hired by Bradley on a whim. Bradley doesn't understand the complications of love: he is an optimistic romantic, but with an indomitable spirit that allows him to progress through marriages like a hero! Searching for a place to live after his marriage fails, he meets real estate agent Diana (Rhadha Mitchell) who despite the fact that she is having an extended love affair with married David (Billy Burke), a relationship consisting solely of 'nooners' with wine and sex, sees the rare vulnerable goodness in Bradley and once again Bradley is in love, headed toward marriage. Meanwhile Oscar and Chloe share dreams for a perfect future despite a problem with Oscar's alcoholic abusive father Bat (Fred Ward) and some ominous warnings from palmist/card reader (Margo Martindale). At the heart of each of these affairs of the heart is the supportive Professor Harry, a wise man who observes reality and yet retains the courage to offer advice and love to all of the characters. In a short time Bradley's marriage to Diana fails as Diana returns to the now available David, and in a moment of angst Bradley wounds himself, is taken to a Dr. Vikashi (Erika Marozsán) for treatment and ends up falling in love yet again - and this time the feeling is wholly mutual. And just when the playing field of love seems even, a major tragedy occurs which bonds all of the players surrounding the wise Harry and Esther and the resolution of all of the aspects of the feast of love come round.
What makes this film so very successful is the gentle manner in which it is written and directed and acted. There is not a weak element here in this survey of the power and force of love. Some may find the generous scenes of lovemaking a problem, but these scenes are in integral part of the story and never border on the superfluous or gratuitous level. The cast is excellent: the pleasure of seeing actors of this wide age range work together in such a fine ensemble manner is doubtless due in large part to not only the individual actors of quality but also to the director. This is a beautiful film, happy and sad, tender and enriching, and hopefully will be seen by a large audience now that it is available on DVD. Highly recommended.
Great writing, great acting,(not a weak performance in the movie) a believable story line. Yes, it is a story of changing relationships and how we adjust to them. Someone in here mentioned gratuitous sex. No...the sex scenes were a necessary part of this movie it is nice to see that they were left in and not cut out making the movie jumpy. Is it just me, or do you too also want Morgan Freeman to be your next door neighbor after seeing this movie? Greg Kinnear once again shows his very strong acting range. Selma Blair...oh my is she a gem or what? Not enough of her in the movie would probably be my only complaint. It would have been interesting to see how her relationship actually progressed.
This movie was like a good book, one that you can curl up with and
enjoy from start to finish.
There were strong multiple stories, especially the characters who were in situations that they knew were hurting themselves as well as others.
As usual the narration of Morgan Freeman is worth the price of admission. For most of the movie he hides his own pain, but at the same time is able to reach out to help those who need it.
Perhaps it's not a movie for everyone, but if you've been around for a while, you can certainly identify with some of the characters and their stories.
This is one of the better pictures I've seen this year (albeit there weren't very many good pictures this year) and I would highly recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Saw this movie last night in a preview. Had high hopes from the cast
and the director. Hopes were dashed on the rocks of cinematic
stupidity. At the core of this movie is the story of three couples and
their loves, losses, toils and tears.
Morgan Freeman and Jane Alexander play the older, wiser couple who are suffering a heartbreak which is revealed about 1/3 of the way through the movie. Of the three couples, they are the most interesting and the least explored. Here we have an inter-racial couple in their late sixties facing their mortality with a deep abiding love. I could have watched them for 1.5 hours! Couple their interesting story with the fine acting that these pro's deliver and you'd have a great movie.
Greg Kinnear and X are the second "middle-aged" couple. I say X because Greg goes through several women in the movie.
Toby Hemingway and Alexa Davalos are the young couple. Romeo and Juliet, young love, yada yada yada.
What annoyed me about the movie were the constant coincidences. I think only 10 people live in Portland and they all sleep together. On scene involves Greg Kinnear and his new wife Radha Mitchell (who just ended a long affair with a married man, but kept his shirt). Greg and Radha jaunt off to a party with Radha wear the aforementioned shirt. Guess who is at the party? Yup - married man and wife who Radha the real estate agent sold a house to years ago (which started the affair). Of course wife recognizes Radha the Realtor and has to say hello where she of course recognizes the shirt since it happened to be a birthday gift from her to her cheatin' husband. And of course that shirt was missing a tell-tale button which eliminated any possibility of a duplicate. Thus drama ensued...
Another scene that stretched my credulity followed quickly afterward when Greg Kinnear's character decides his body must feel the same pain as his heart and slices off the tip of his finger. Rushed to the hospital by wise and kindly Morgan Freeman who continuously admonishes him to stop telling people he did it himself, Greg falls in love with the Doctor who stitches him up. What was amazing was the Doctor falls in love with the crazy guy who just chopped his finger off.
Oh and the movie had way too much nudity. I'm not a prude but I'm not a fan of excessive nudity for the sake of nudity. Same with some of the coarse language.
Overall rating: I wouldn't pay an airline $3 for the headphones to hear this movie!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*Spoilers*: There are a few nuggets of wisdom to extrapolate from this film full of tired, retread formulas, clichéd characters and ridiculous, nonsensical twists and harbinger outcomes; the apex of this film is when Freeman gives his narration or he and Kinnear interact. Some of the preceding writing is pretty decent, unfortunately, the rest of the movie is buried amongst tired plot conventions and impractical character motivations. No better way to underscore this than in the ending where all the now sugary characters of shattered, debauched relationships come together to try to rescue the life of one of their crew. It is one of the most insipid and uninspired things I've seen in a movie in quite a while (you could see this 'surprise' coming a mile away, and why didn't they wait for an ambulance, as a football game had just ended with spectators walking around everywhere before trying to drive through it?). Overall, if you want to see a movie that writer/director Robert Benton made that was truly good, if not great, check out 1979's 'Kramer Vs. Kramer', or 1994's 'Nobody's Fool' with Paul Newman. For now, this feast has me bloated.
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