6.4/10
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54 user 21 critic

The Thing Called Love (1993)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 27 August 1993 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer
A group of newcomers to the country music business seek love and stardom.

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writer:

Carol Heikkinen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
River Phoenix ... James Wright
Samantha Mathis ... Miranda Presley
Dermot Mulroney ... Kyle Davidson
Sandra Bullock ... Linda Lue Linden
K.T. Oslin K.T. Oslin ... Lucy
Anthony Clark ... Billy
Webb Wilder Webb Wilder ... Ned
Earl Poole Ball ... Floyd
Deborah Allen Deborah Allen ... Self
Jimmie Dale Gilmore Jimmie Dale Gilmore ... Self
Katy Moffatt Katy Moffatt ... Self
Jo-El Sonnier Jo-El Sonnier ... Self
Pam Tillis ... Self
Kevin Welch Kevin Welch ... Self
Trisha Yearwood ... Self
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Storyline

Miranda Presley moves from New York to Nashville to become a song writer. At an unsuccessful audition she meets James Wright a promising newcomer. After only a few days they marry, head over heels, but start to regret it very soon. Written by Matthias Scheler <tron@lyssa.owl.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stand By Your Dream

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samantha Mathis was River Phoenix's girlfriend at the time. See more »

Goofs

When James and Kyle fight in the parking lot of the Bluebird after Linda Lou wins 4th prize in the Miss Nashville pageant, Kyle falls. Linda Lou is on top of Kyle in one shot, but in the next, she is behind him, squatting down. See more »

Quotes

[Kyle runs into back of a guy's car and a crowd gathers]
Driver: Didn't you see the stop sign?
Kyle Davidson: That's my song!
Driver: Well, that's my car!
Kyle Davidson: That's my song playing on the radio!
Driver: You wrote that song?
Kyle Davidson: Yeah!
Bystander: You're a better songwriter than you are a driver.
Kyle Davidson: That's my song!
Bystander: That song's all right.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in By Bogdanovich (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Understand
Written by Hank DeVito
Performed by Dermot Mulroney
Also Performed by Samantha Mathis
Also Performed by Trisha Yearwood
See more »

User Reviews

River Phoenix shines before passing on
14 August 2011 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

1993's "That Thing Called Love" failed miserably at the box office but it's a pretty solid drama about 20-somethings trying to make it in the country music business in Nashville, where the film was shot. The story revolves around Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis), fresh from New York City; Connecticut cowboy Kyle (Dermot Mulroney); ditzy but genuine Southern belle Linda Lue (Sandra Bullock); and the bursting-with-creative-energy-and-confidence James Wright (River Phoenix).

A few country stars have cameos, like Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis.

The film isn't redneck-y at all; the people are genuine and likable, if sometimes annoying. The movie has a hip flair and is filled with newer country music (for 1993, that is). Aside from trying to make it in the music business the story naturally revolves around Kyle and James' attraction to Miranda and their ensuing rivalry. The cool thing is that the film never cops a meanspirited vibe, despite one brawl; the viewer gets the impression that these are good, talented people who will remain friends no matter what.

What makes the film truly worthwhile is the magnetic performance of River Phoenix, who was 22 years-old during filming. His face looks almost exactly like Quorthon of Bathory, if you're familiar with that obscure metal band. River easily exudes the brooding charisma of Marlon Brando, no kidding. Unfortunately, three and a half months after the release of "That Thing Called Love" River was found dead outside an L.A. nightclub due to an overdose. He was 23.

FINAL WORD: "That Thing Called Love" may not be a great country music film like "Coal Miner's Daughter" but it's pretty solid and highlighted by the brooding charisma of River Phoenix. He was great and it's a pity he died so prematurely.

GRADE: B


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thing Called Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$433,254, 29 August 1993

Gross USA:

$1,029,721

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,029,721
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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