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8 reviews in total 
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A masterpiece of mood in romance, 6 June 2014

This is a romance but a story told in a special way.

The camera, and we the viewer, are not observers watching a sequence of events, as is usually the case with American cinema. Rather, as the characters unfold and interact on their travels in Spain, we are sharing the moods of the characters as they dance before our eyes. The hero from America and the heroine from England by chance find a common life and love in the moods of Spain and the moods of European cinema.

Look at the picture on screen and feel the mood; then in your mind link that to the words and events.

A masterpiece much misunderstood.

11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
A puerile mixture of melodrama and farce, 18 January 2009

This film is as subtle a kicking a house brick with your toe, and deeply dishonest.

The comedic characters and events are from the era of the Keystone Cops; completely over the top. This film is from the genre of farce verging on melodrama, complete with music to make sure we know what we are supposed to think. It should have been honest enough not to pretend to anything more complex.

The life challenges faced by the characters are real enough but the plot is completely cliché and obvious.

The central characters are simplistic and are black & white (she all good, he all bad). The dialog is from the day dreams of a fourteen year old.

The fact that a film uses actor Hugh Grant does not make it sensitive, uplifting or funny. The fact that a film contains sex and slapstick does not make it a romantic comedy.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Rubbish relieved by a few scenes of good acting, 9 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film presents an extended family which has some problems: problems of emotional rigidity, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, sexual abuse, statutory rape, compulsive sexual behavior, religious differences, cultural differences, serious personality disorders, grief for a dead spouse and all this mixed with just the usual adolescence.

And all these problems can be resolved with a few chats, a few tears and few heartfelt hugs.

Not at all a comedy, this is an attempt at drama that is as subtle as a hand grenade.

There are some scenes and moments of magic when the acting succeeds despite the absurd script. However none of the magic is produced by Jane Fonda who should now pretend she has never heard of this film.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Lousy lousy job of endless Hollywood clichés, 30 January 2008


It features: a bad and lazy script, terrible dialog, cardboard cutout characters, weak casting, major defects in plot detail and credibility, a romance as deep as speed dating, terrible editing of the main chase sequence, a telegraphed romantic ending and throughout it is full of technology silliness.

It also features the moral perspectives that revenge is good, taking revenge turns baddies into goodies, and that stealing from baddies makes what you steal rightfully yours.

No amount of reasonable sets and photography can compensate for the defects.

This is NOT a remake of the 1969 English masterpiece featuring Michael Caine; it is RIP OFF of that title and reputation. People who know and love the real "Italian Job" should sue for damage of memory and mental cruelty.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wondertful, funny, with real people - it works in Australia too!, 27 December 2007

This film has just run on TV in Australia (on SBS with sub-titles of course). I laughed out loud. Canada Francophone you do not have a monopoly in enjoying this delightful film.

Here we are fanatics about sport generally and Cricket in particular: that part was even funnier. Perhaps some of the verbal jokes did not come through the sub-titles but there is a great deal of wonderful whimsy that does.

The village setting is fascinating. It is geography unknown to this part of the world; I gather the real village is well known.

The characters are greatly inviting, and with a light touch the story leaves the audience with the question about the pretty girl!

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Moving portrait of a teen girl's troubled world, 22 February 2005

Superb social realism!

Martha's new coat is a birthday present. Martha turns fifteen living in a low income household which means well but which does not realise that she has emerging emotional needs. She sets off to find her father who left the family some years earlier.

The whole film is excellently realised. Actress Matilda Brown delivers a sensitive attractive compelling central character. With a glance or a gesture she speaks volumes of the emotional yearning and confusion of an adolescent at a transition in life.

I was deeply moved by this low key but deeply honest film.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Lots to like in a two hander, 21 February 2005

This is a romance presented as a sequence of episodes between the boy and the girl while they are studying at UC Berkeley. This is a simple film and it appears from IMDb comments that people either love or hate the style.

For me the great strengths of the film are the thoughtful general arc of the story and the engrossing qualities actress Claire Forlani brings to scenes of one-to-one conversation. The development of the central friendship within the arc of the story is in many respects true to life and human nature. The comic diversions also work for me.

The weaknesses of the film are the beginning and ending which are abrupt and unconvincing. We do not have any sense of the two characters' inner emotional reactions once things have changed. (European filmmakers do these aspects better.)

For the gems in the middle this film is one of my favourites.

Gypsy Eyes (1992)
18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Some fine scenes of drama and romance but a flawed movie., 19 February 2005

This movie is a visual treat; set in Slovenia with scenes of rural gypsy life constructed in exquisite detail it appears. Claire Forlani's beautiful, expressive and subtle face is ever present and she provides the most plausible character in the piece. Perhaps just a little too soft and scrubbed but it worked for me. (One day someone will write the part this actress deserves to play.)

Some of the scenes hold strong intensity of mood and atmosphere but sadly this is patchy because other scenes simply display banal directing. The plot follows a well worn Hollywood genre romance/thriller story line but leaves major links in the plot simply missing. I suspect that budget constraints simply cut major story elements. The result is that while the first half holds the level of intensity, the plot then degenerates into banal predictability for anyone who is familiar with the genre.

Worth seeing for the atmosphere and what might have been.