Review: ‘The Thing Called Love’

A fairly typical tale of young talent on the rise in Nashville is given nicely nuanced treatment in The Thing Called Love. Perhaps there's not much new to say about the dues and disappointments involved in breaking into the country music scene, but the scenes are fresh and the emotions real in Peter Bogdanovich's tune-laden, mixed-mood drama.

A fairly typical tale of young talent on the rise in Nashville is given nicely nuanced treatment in The Thing Called Love. Perhaps there’s not much new to say about the dues and disappointments involved in breaking into the country music scene, but the scenes are fresh and the emotions real in Peter Bogdanovich’s tune-laden, mixed-mood drama.

Debuting screenwriter Carol Heikkinen’s story seems familiar from the outset, as cute aspiring singer-songwriter Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis) Greyhounds from New York City to Nashville in search of her dream. Moving in with the buoyantly untalented Linda Lue Linden (Sandra Bullock), Miranda attracts the attention of two good-looking dudes, the moody, gifted James Wright (River Phoenix) and soulful Kyle Davidson (Dermot Mulroney), who writes better than he sings.

Characters hit the crossroads at a big country dance to which Kyle brings Miranda, but loses her after James, who is unexpectedly performing that night, invites her up onstage to join in one of his numbers.

Brought on to replace another director on relatively short notice, Bogdanovich hasn’t been able to transcend such fundamental script problems as its predictability and the conventional, thinly conceived secondary characters. But, like good country songwriters and singers, he and his leading actors have been able to locate authentic emotion in a standard format.

The Thing Called Love

Production

Paramount. Director Peter Bogdanovich; Producer John Davis; Screenplay Carol Heikkinen; Camera Peter James; Editor Terry Stokes; Music G. Marq Roswell (sup.); Art Director Michael Seymour

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 116 MIN.

With

River Phoenix Samantha Mathis Dermot Mulroney Sandra Bullock K.T. Oslin Anthony Clark

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading