A man and a woman,who are engaged to other people, meet on a ship and quickly fall in love. They agree to meet six months later, but due to an accident one of them is not able to make it.
The review of this Movie prepared by brittany
I believe the challenge when discussing this film is deciding just which scene is the worst. The film goes from somewhat dull to disgustingly cheesy, to overripe melodrama in its overlong two hour running time, and never fails to get you totally peeved off. On the other hand, I can never help but weep at the end. Perhaps it's something to do with self-hatred, but I love hating this film.
Deborah Kerr plays a young woman engaged to be married to a wealthy New York businessman, who is thwarted in love on an ocean liner traveling from Europe to the Big Apple when she meets world-class playboy Cary Grant. They fall in love, partly because Kerr is the only woman who doesn't fall flat on her back when she sees Grant, which to him I suppose signifies challenge. Unfortunately, Grant is too famous, and so their romance must be kept a secret so that neither of their fiancees find out.
Eventually they reach harbour and decide to meet after six months, to see if they really do want to be together. They even pick a romantic meeting spot: the top of the Empire State Building (those of you who are thinking, Wow that's just like Sleepless In Seattle, well you're right, but backwards). But lo and behold it is not to be, for Debs doesn't notice the taxi cab coming straight at her the day of the great rendezvous and she gets pummeled to the ground. This is where it really gets bad.
Now she's a handicapped teacher for underprivileged children in the inner city, and Grant is a penniless painter. There's a scene where they see each other at the ballet and don't say much. Then there's a sappy, pat happy ending that is all Hollywood and makes me want to throw up (after I dry my eyes).
That it's a remake of Love Affair is one thing, but that it was remade by the same director is quite astonishing to me. His intent was to not only remake the film in colour (disgusting, overly bright colour which was the fashion for CinemaScope romances in those days), but to extend the film in length as well. All his extensions are unnecessary, from a longer waving sequence on the cruise ship when the stars have landed in New York, to a horribly dull musical number involving Kerr's students (the part where the only two African-American children in the class break out dancing always makes me want to scream). There's also a scene where Kerr sings the title song (dubbed by Marni Nixon, who the year before had filled in for Kerr's singing voice in The King and I).
The only part that I really adore (and which is my favourite aspect of any version of this story), is when Grant takes Kerr on a trip to the coast of France to visit his widowed grandmother (Cathleen Nesbitt—Maria Ouspenskaya in the original 1939 version, Katharine Hepburn in the 1994 version where the scene took place on a South sea island instead of France). In this sequence the sentiment is pliable, tender and very touching, partly because it involves Kerr. It's a testament to her profound powers as an actress that she can take a character who could potentially be a complete ninny and make her a vibrant and passionate woman who maintains her stately poise without compromising the fire within her. I love this about her in every film I've seen her in (and consequently have had the pleasure of falling in love with her time and time again). The thing with the scarf never fails to get me choking.
All in all it's a film so purple it's scary, but it seems to deserve its status as the most famous romance film from its time. It has all the trappings it needs: tragic story, beautiful actors, full-throated monologues, and not a hint of believability. If you have the patience, grab a Kleenex box and dive on in.
The review of this Movie prepared by Bil Antoniou